Former Acton Selectman Arrested for OUI-Liquor

The following information was supplied by the Acton Police Department. The police report of the incident was provided by Actonforum.com. Where arrests or charges are mentioned, it does not indicate a conviction.

According to an Acton Police report, 68 year-old Robert A. Johnson, a former Acton Board of Selectmen from 2004 - 2005, was arrested on Dec. 7 at 4:10 p.m. and charged with OUI-Liquor (second offense) and Failure to Yield to Oncoming Traffic.

Initially reported by Allen Nitschelm, blogger for Actonforum.com (where the Acton police report can be found), Johnson had struck another vehicle on Route 2A, Great Road. No one was injured.

When Acton Police officer Stephen McCarthy approached Johnson's vehicle, he found Johnson sitting in the front passenger seat of the vehicle. When McCarthy spoke to Johnson from the open window of the drivers side, he reported a strong odor of alcohol. When McCarthy asked if Johnson had been drinking, he replied, "No, I am going to the store to get some though."

The vehicles involved in the accident were parked in the parking plaza outside .

McCarthy conducted various tests with Johnson and determined he was under the influence of alcohol and placed Johnson under arrest.

Back at the , Johnson took the Breathalyzer test and blew a .26.

For questions on this police blotter, email Editor Patrick Clark at Patrick.Clark@patch.com

NOTE: The article was edited this morning in respect to the points Debra Simes raised.

Debra Simes December 14, 2011 at 02:24 PM
I began reading this article, after reading the headline, with a heavy heart. There is no pleasure in learning of people' difficulties, and the effects of those difficulties on others — whether or not the difficulties are self-inflicted. I understand the newsworthiness of a public figure's (or former public figure's) less-than-stellar actions, including the facts of the situation. But I really question the need for a blow-by-blow accounting of the police stop related to this accident, or any accident, regardless of who's involved. The level of detail in the piece really doesn't have a function that I can discern; its outcome, however, includes reader discomfort and/or subject humiliation. I'm certain these were not the intention of the writer (who is doubtless crazy busy generating content). We all have lapses of judgment sometimes, or act without benefit of contextual information. So I'm not ranting against anything or anyone. I'm suggesting that reporting in excruciating detail the behavior and comments of an officer and an arrest subject — particularly when those details serve only to embarrass or invite judgment — is unnecessary.
Debra Simes December 14, 2011 at 02:26 PM
The article was apparently just changed, eliminating the portions of concern. Thanks to the editor.
Marge Kennedy December 15, 2011 at 05:58 PM
Well said, Debra. I agree. Such sad and distressing news reported in such unnecessary and painful detail. The focus instead should be on the dreadful effects alcoholism has on individuals and families as well as the potential dangers to the public. That can be done without naming names and spotlighting members of our community. Marge Kennedy


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