VSP: Alleged Drunken Driver Almost Hits Border Patrol Agent

Trucks line up at the U.S. port of entry on Interstate 91 in Derby Line in May 2019. (File Photo)

Police say an intoxicated Burlington man almost ran over a member of the border patrol at the U.S. Point of Entry in Derby Line this summer.

Nicholas Roberts, 37, pleaded not guilty in Orleans Superior Court on Nov. 10 to misdemeanor charges of reckless endangerment, reckless or gross negligent operation of a motor vehicle and felony drunken driving - 3rd offense and was released on conditions by Judge Lisa A. Warren.

Orleans Superior Court

Police said that when they arrived at the border station they were met by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers Sean Pecuch and Levin Estevez who provided a written statement about the alleged incident.

“On 07-01-21 at approximately 1900 hours, a white Kia Soul arrived at their primary lane for inspection,” wrote Vermont State Police Corporal Amy LeClair in her report.

They told police that the vehicle was traveling south on Interstate-91 “at a high rate of speed” and failed to stop at both the red stoplight as well as the stop sign at the entrance of the inspection area.

“According to Officer Estevez, he stepped out in front of the vehicle in an attempt to get the operator to stop, however, the vehicle was not slowing down, so he jumped back inside the booth to avoid being hit,” wrote Cpl. LeClair. “It was reported the vehicle did eventually come to a stop in the inspection lane…Roberts advised Officer Estevez he was coming from Canada and made a wrong turn.”

Police then transported Roberts to the Derby barracks for processing where he provided two samples of his breath. The first indicated Robert’s blood alcohol content was .216 percent. The second sample yielded a result of .212 percent, according to the report.

“He made the comment that he was normally a .15% and stated a .216% was pretty high,” wrote Cpl LeClair.

If convicted of all the charges, Roberts faces a possible sentence of up to eight years in prison and $6,000 in fines.

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