Cops: Darien man intoxicated, had children in car
Published 1:20 pm, Wednesday, November 24, 2010
STAMFORD -- A 39-year-old Darien man was arrested Monday for allegedly driving with a blood alcohol content level more than three times the legal limit after a woman found him behind the wheel of a car parked in a driveway with two young children inside, police said.
Thomas Paul, 39, of 769 Hollow Tree Ridge Road, Darien, was charged with driving under the influence and two felony counts of risk of injury to a child. Stamford police Sgt. Ken Jarrett said a Glendale Drive resident called police at 6 p.m. Monday to report an intoxicated driver with two young children in his car.
About an hour and a half later, Paul submitted to a breath test at the police department, registering a blood alcohol content level of 0.309, nearly four times the legal limit of 0.08.
Patrol officers responded with lights and sirens because of the seriousness of the report; they found Paul sitting on the front steps of the caller's home with his 5-year-old daughter on his lap, according to police reports of the incident. His 9-year-old son was also with him.
The officers noticed Paul had trouble keeping balance and smelled a strong odor of alcohol coming from him. He allegedly babbled answers to basic questions and was unaware of where he was or whether he drank or took drugs, police reports show.
Officers handcuffed and placed Paul in the back of a patrol car before shutting off the engine to his 2006 BMW sedan. The Glendale Drive resident told police she saw Paul pull up to the end of the road and then back into her driveway.
When the car stopped, a young child jumped out of the car and asked for her help. Paul was allegedly slumped over the steering wheel and the car was still running, an arrest report said. The woman said she could also smell alcohol coming from Paul.
Uniformed officers spoke to Paul's young children inside the home of the woman who reported the incident. They told police their father was driving them to a relative's house when he got lost, according to arrest reports.
Officers discovered that Paul had been arrested in Utah this summer for drunken driving and his license was suspended. He was not supposed to be driving in Connecticut, police said. Relatives told police Paul had been in and out of substance-abuse treatment facilities.
Police referred the incident to the state Department of Children and Families.
Paul posted a $10,000 bond and was arraigned Tuesday in state Superior Court in Stamford. His defense attorney entered a not guilty plea. Paul is due back in court Dec. 21.