Bennington man faces felony DUI

BENNINGTON — A local man is being held without bail and faces a felony charge of driving under the influence of alcohol after police said he crashed his car into a tree on Tuesday.
John A. Richi, 61, of Bennington, was arraigned in Bennington criminal court on Wednesday on a felony charge of driving under the influence of alcohol and a felony charge of refusing to provide a breath sample. Richi was also charged with a misdemeanor count of driving after his license had been suspended for a drunken driving conviction.
The charge of driving while under the influence of alcohol was a felony because Richi has already been convicted three times of the same charge, in July of this year and in November 1990 and September 2011. The charge of refusing to submit to a sobriety test was also a felony based on the previous convictions.
Police said the crash of a car into a tree was reported on Tuesday around 3:45 p.m. When Officer Robert Murawski of the Bennington Police Department arrived at the scene, he said in an affidavit, he noted signs that Richi might be impaired.
According to Murawski, Richi, who admitted to drinking prior to the crash, declined to give a breath sample and perform certain roadside sobriety tests.
Richi is being held in the Rutland jail because his probation, from the drinking and driving charge from earlier this year, was revoked based on the new charges.

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