David J. Bowering, the Quincy man charged with killing a pedestrian Saturday while driving drunk, had a slew of past violations on the South Shore, including OUI arrests, speeding tickets, at-fault collisions and a reckless driving charge, according to Massachusetts RMV records.
Bowering, 78, was sanctioned repeatedly for driving infractions earlier in his life, the records show, getting his license suspended seven times between 1985 and 1999 for conduct that included driving drunk and failing to take alcohol breath tests.
The Registry of Motor Vehicles revoked his driving privileges for the eighth time this weekend, deeming him an immediate threat to the public after he allegedly got behind the wheel drunk and struck 72-year-old James Bouchie, who was crossing an intersection in his wheelchair.
Bowering was arraigned Monday morning at Quincy District Court. He is being held without bail pending the outcome of a dangerousness hearing scheduled for Friday.
His lawyer did not respond to a request for comment.
Court records from three of Bowering’s former convictions for drunken driving have been sealed in Hingham District Court, according to a clerk. Records from a fourth conviction that dates back more than three decades could not be located Tuesday at the court in Dedham.
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However, RMV records obtained by the NBC10 Boston Investigators show Bowering had a checkered history behind the wheel.
He was cited twice for improper driving in the early 1980s in Scituate and Marshfield, and convicted of driving drunk in Hingham in May 1984, and again in Cohasset in February 1985. He served a suspension of about 11 months at the time.
He was convicted of driving drunk again in May 1987, this time in Hull. Records show he failed to stop for police and refused to take a breath test.
He served a lengthier one-year suspension, and maintained a clean record for three more years, but was arrested again in Hingham in March 1993. Records show he refused to take a breath test and was later convicted of reckless driving.
Another conviction followed for driving drunk in Norwell in June 1996. Records show Bowering again refused to take a breath test.
His driving history improved later in life, though it was not unblemished.
He was faulted for a crash in Norwell in 1998, cited for speeding in Duxbury in August 2000, and faulted again for a crash with property damage, and cited for a marked lanes violation, in Pembroke in January 2001.
He was also cited twice more for traffic citations in Dorchester and Quincy, and was found responsible for a 2011 collision, but retained his license.
Criminal defense attorney Patrick Donovan said given the amount of time that’s elapsed since Bowering’s last OUI conviction, he was not surprised the 78-year-old had a valid driver’s license.
Donovan also said the drunken driving laws have become much more strict compared to when Bowering had his convictions several decades ago. For instance, a fourth OUI conviction now triggers a 10-year loss of license. And a second drunk-driving offense triggers an ignition interlock device requirement in vehicles.
“Some of these offenses were very old in the 1980s before people in the Commonwealth really got serious with drunk driving,” Donovan explained. “Now, if you racked up that many OUIs in a short time period, it would be a much different story.”
James Bouchie of Quincy was crossing Quincy Avenue around 8:30 p.m. Saturday when a Kia Sportage hit his wheelchair, police said.
The police report says a witness saw Bowering “go in reverse and ran over Bouchie again as he was laying on the ground.” It also says “Bowering got back into his car and attempted to drive off.”
Police say Bouchie was thrown from his wheel chair and had severe head trauma.
They also say a witness prevented Bowering from taking off.
Bowering was arrested at the scene. The Quincy Police Department said he was charged with his fifth offense of OUI, as well as motor vehicle homicide while under the influence of liquor.