Hallwood town officer found guilty of DUI

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By Nancy Drury Duncan —

A Hallwood town police officer entered a conditional guilty plea to driving under the influence of alcohol in an off-duty incident and received a suspended jail sentence.

Allen W. Poulson, 42, who lives in Hallwood, was ordered to be on good behavior for one year. He also had his driver’s license suspended for one year.

The suspension will not begin until a decision on an appeal made by Poulson’s attorney to suppress evidence is known.

On Dec. 23, 2021, Poulson drove his vehicle into a ditch on Guardshore Road near Bloxom, damaging a culvert.

He reported to an emergency dispatcher that a deer ran in front of his vehicle. A homeowner nearby told police he saw the driver throwing beer bottles out of the vehicle, testimony showed.

A friend helped Poulson remove the vehicle from the ditch. An officer went to Poulson’s home and found the vehicle there.

An officer testified at an earlier hearing that Poulson’s gait was unsteady, there was a strong odor of alcohol, and his speech was slurred when police arrived at Poulson’s home.

Poulson denied drinking before the accident but said he drank several beers and had a few shots after arriving home.

A hospital blood test administered later showed a blood alcohol content of .141, considerably higher than the legal limit of .08.

Defense attorney Mario Lorello said the presence of the officers and their cars in Poulson’s driveway the night of the arrest constituted a “show of force” and was intimidating.

The case was prosecuted by Jack Thornton, an assistant commonwealth’s attorney in Northampton County, because a special prosecutor was needed.

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