Man pleads innocent to DUI-3 after bad crash

MIDDLEBURY — A Middlebury man on Monday pleaded innocent in Addison Superior Court, criminal division, to a felony charge of driving under the influence, third offense, and misdemeanor careless or negligent driving, in connection with a Dec. 21, 2014, incident during which he allegedly split in two the vehicle he had driven into a tree off Route 30 in Whiting.
Todd M. Brigham, 24, faces up to five years in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500 if convicted of the felony DUI charge. State statutes dictate that at least 96 hours of the sentence could not be suspended or deferred.
An investigation conducted by Vermont State Police Trooper Kyle Young indicates that Brigham was driving a 2001 Kia Rio vehicle on Route 30 in Whiting during the evening of Dec. 21. At some point, police believe Brigham’s vehicle veered off Route 30 and collided with a tree, which split the car into two pieces, according to court records.
When authorities arrived at the scene, Brigham had walked over to a nearby residence to seek help, according to Young’s affidavit. Brigham, suspecting a spinal injury, had decided to lay on the floor of the resident’s kitchen, according to court records.
“Brigham advised he was the only one in the vehicle and he does not remember anything about the crash,” Young wrote in his affidavit.
“While speaking with Brigham, I smelled a faint odor of intoxicants emanating from him and observed his eyes to be both watery and bloodshot,” the affidavit continued.
Brigham allegedly told police that he had consumed a 12-ounce beer, three shots of whiskey and a “couple hits” of marijuana earlier that evening, according to court records. He denied having used any intoxicants 30 minutes prior to the crash, according police.
Middlebury Regional EMS took Brigham to Porter Hospital for treatment of his injuries — which included a collapsed lung, according to police. The extent of those injuries prevented authorities from conducting a field sobriety test or a breath test to determine what, if any impairment he might have had, according to court records.
A blood sample, received more than two hours after the accident, revealed a blood-alcohol content of 0.101 percent, according to court records. The legal limit for driving is 0.08 percent.

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