Friday, May 21, 2010


Saint Albans, Vermont (SafeCITY) - Douglas Gardner, a 54-year-old Highlander man was charged with DUI a 9th time after he recently completed a 20-year prison sentence for a fatal DUI accident.

According to the Vermont State Police, troopers were called to the scene of a one-car accident on Vermont 78.

Troopers arrived to find Gardner had crashed into the embankment, had bloodshot eyes, smelled of alcohol, and was stumbling around. A breath test showed he was impaired at twice the legal limit.

Gardner allegedly stole the vehicle from a family member who had left it in the front yard with a for sale sign.

Investigators say Gardner has an extensive criminal history that includes convictions for escape, grand larceny, burglary, false impersonation, and breaking and entering. He was also previously charged with drunk driving in 1976, 1977, 1983, twice in 1985, 1989, 1990, and in 1991.

On April 23rd, 1990, Gardner crashed a stolen pick-up truck head-on into a vehicle driven by Billy Labier III, a Johnson State College student from Enosburg. The young man was employed at an auto parts store and was on his way to work when he was tragically killed. Gardner was charged for his death and served nearly 20 years in prison. He also had his license revoked for life. He was released April 14th, 2010.

Billy Labier's mother, 62-year-old Pat Labier-Boucher, is a member of the Vermont Parole Board. She was present for Gardner's court hearing, and believes he need to be put back in prison for the safety of he public.

Gardner was booked into the St. Albans VSP Barracks and charged with drunken driving, driving a vehicle without the owner’s consent and driving with a suspended license. He is being held without bail. Since he has 12 other felony charges, he could face life in prison under the "three strikes" law.

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