A South Bristol man and former Damariscotta restaurateur with four prior convictions for operating under the influence has received a nine-month jail sentence and 10-year license suspension for his fifth.
James B. Metzger, 56, of South Bristol, pleaded guilty Monday, Sept. 10 to one count of class B (aggravated) criminal OUI, according to court documents. Justice Daniel Billings sentenced Metzger to four years in custody with all but nine months suspended, plus three years of probation.
Metzger must pay a total of $2,585 in fines and surcharges, according to the documents. In addition to his license, his right to register a motor vehicle was suspended.
His probation conditions prohibit the possession or use of alcohol or illegal drugs and require him to submit to random searches and tests to ensure compliance. He must complete treatment for substance abuse.
Metzger’s blood-alcohol level was 0.17 grams per 100 milliliters of blood, more than double the legal limit of 0.08, when Damariscotta Police Chief Jason Warlick stopped his 1994 Mercedes-Benz station wagon on Bristol Road on July 18, 2016, according to court documents and to Warlick.
Warlick said someone in another town reported seeing an intoxicated man get into a car and drive away. Warlick spotted a car that matched the description and stopped it.
Metzger was convicted of OUI three times in 2007 and again in 2009, according to Assistant District Attorney Matthew Gerety.
He also has convictions for operating after revocation, operating after suspension, and offenses unrelated to driving, including criminal threatening and multiple violations of protective orders, Gerety said.
Metzger’s sentence takes into consideration both his criminal record and his undergoing treatment prior to sentencing, Gerety said.
Metzger operated 74 Main Bistro in Damariscotta in the late 2000s. The restaurant occupied the space now home to Best Thai.
He lived in South Bristol at the time of his most recent OUI, but lists an address in Portland on recent court documents.
Brunswick attorney Jonathan Handelman represented Metzger.