For Immediate Release - August 03, 2009

Man Already Convicted Six Times Pleads Not Guilty To Another Drunk Driving Charge

Jason Wetteland, 39, of Charlton, pleaded not guilty today in Newburyport District Court to operating under the influence of liquor, fifth or subsequent offense. He has been previously convicted of drunk driving six times.

Judge Allen Swan ordered Wetteland held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing, which is scheduled for August 18. He also pleaded not guilty to operating after the suspension of his license, subsequent offense, and possession of an open container of alcohol

Wetteland was arrested by Amesbury police at about 7:30 Saturday evening near the intersection of Routes 495 and 110. He was stopped after a police officer observed him operating erratically.

If convicted, Wetteland faces up to 5 years in state prison, with a minimum mandatory sentence of 2 years.

The Commonwealth was represented at arraignment by Essex Assistant District Attorney Nathaniel Sears. Wetteland is represented by Attorney H. Ernest Stone.