A Freeport man already convicted of DWI and facing a new drunken driving charge showed up to court intoxicated Tuesday, and was arrested by police when he tried to drive out of the parking lot, prosecutors said.
Michael Nolan, 58, entered Judge Jerald Carter's Mineola courtroom smelling of alcohol, said Maureen McCormick, who heads the vehicular crimes unit for Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice. A police officer in the court on another matter was asked to follow Nolan to his 2008 Toyota Tacoma and arrested him after he began driving, McCormick said.
Nolan, who told police he is a crane operator, appeared to be intoxicated and failed a portable breath test, she said. He was arrested on drunken driving charges and will be arraigned Wednesday, she said.
"That this defendant would drive drunk to a court appearance on his second DWI shows that some people will never stop drinking and driving if given the chance," Rice said. "My office will prosecute this case aggressively to ensure this man never threatens the public on our highways again."
Nolan's lawyer, Garrett Rooney of Mineola, said his client was not intoxicated Tuesday morning. "I'm sure when the facts are revealed, it will be determined that he's innocent," Rooney said.
McCormick said the latest arrest was Nolan's third on charges of driving under the influence. In 2004, he was convicted of misdemeanor drunken driving. He also was arrested in January.
Rooney said Nolan was not driving at the time of his January arrest, but sitting with the engine off and his keys in his back pocket.
In the 2004 case, police arrested him driving with a 0.20 percent blood alcohol level, which is more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
In January, Nolan was arrested after driving slowly but erratically in Freeport with 0.28 percent blood alcohol content, police said, more than three times the legal limit. McCormick said police found an open bottle of Cognac near Nolan's feet.