Chesterfield man gets 5-6 years for 12th OUI

Staff Report

Published: 06-30-2023 12:17 PM

NORTHAMPTON — A Chesterfield man with 11 previous drunken-driving convictions has been sentenced to five to six years in state prison after pleading guilty this week in Hampshire Superior Court to a 2020 charge of operating under the influence of alcohol and negligent operation of a motor vehicle, the Northwestern district attorney’s office reported.

John Huckins, 61, admitted before Judge John Agostini that he crashed a truck into a telephone pole on Chesterfield Road in Westhampton while under the influence of alcohol on Nov. 21, 2020. Huckins was the sole occupant of the truck. He also admitted that he has been convicted in Massachusetts for operating under the influence of alcohol on 11 previous occasions, the prosecutor’s office said.

The plea agreement, which calls for Huckins to spend two years on probation after his sentence is served, was recommended jointly by Assistant District Attorney Andrew Covington and Easthampton defense attorney Alfred Chamberland.

Under Massachusetts law, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol with eight or more previous convictions for OUI is punishable by a minimum of 4½ years and a maximum of 10 years in state prison. According to the district attorney’s office, Huckins is believed to have more drunken-driving convictions than anyone the office has prosecuted in at least a decade.

“It is beyond troubling that Mr. Huckins was before the Court on a 12th offense OUI charge,” Covington said in a statement. “Fortunately, no one was hurt during this incident. We believe that a lengthy state prison sentence was clearly warranted here in order to protect the public.

“The commonwealth would also like to thank the State Police for their thorough work on this case.”