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Man charged with driving drunk into Silver Line tunnel

Just before 1 a.m., a Wilmington man drove into the D Street portal of the Silver Line tunnel, crashing into a security barrier, said MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo.

Transit police

Just before 1 a.m., a Wilmington man drove into the D Street portal of the Silver Line tunnel, crashing into a security barrier, said MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo.

A 58-year-old Wilmington man was released on his own recognizance Friday, charged with being a repeat offender of operating under the influence after driving while drunk into a Silver Line bus tunnel, prosecutors said.

William Tilton was arrested by MBTA Transit Police in South Boston early Friday morning, according to Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office.

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He pleaded not guilty in Boston Municipal Court and will return to court Dec. 18 for a pretrial hearing.

Tilton was ordered to not consume alcohol pending his trial, said Conley spokesman Jake Wark.

Just before 1 a.m., Tilton drove into the D Street portal of the Silver Line tunnel, crashing into a security barrier, said MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo.

Tilton allegedly smelled of alcohol and could not stand steadily. After he failed sobriety tests, he was charged, Pesaturo said.

The barriers are placed in the tunnel to prevent unauthorized vehicles from entering. They are approximately 200 feet from the entrance, Pesaturo said.

Tilton told officers he was driving home from the Bruins game and that a friend instructed him to drive in the bus-only lane. He admitted to officers that he had had two or three drinks that evening, but did not say he was drunk, Conley’s office said in a prepared statement.

Tilton’s blood-alcohol level was 0.15 percent, which is nearly twice the 0.08 percent legal limit, the statement said.

An operating under the influence charge would normally result in immediate suspension of a person’s license for 30 days, but because Tilton has been convicted of the charge before, his license may be suspended for a longer period of time, said Mike Verseckes, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.

Tilton’s other convictions were in 1992, 1988, and 1983, Conley’s office said.

His lengthy record also included violations such as misuse of a handicap placard and failure to stop.

The district attorney’s office said Tilton’s court appearance was one of three this week for alleged repeat drunken drivers.

On Thursday, Carter Gillenwater, 58, of Mattapan, was charged with operating under the influence as a third offense, operating with a license revoked, a marked lanes violation, and four counts of leaving the scene of a personal injury, Conley’s office said.

Gillenwater is on probation for a 2011 conviction for operating under the influence and a 2012 conviction for negligent operation and leaving the scene of personal injury.

He was also convicted of operating under the influence in 2009, the statement said.

On Wednesday, Douglas Feyler, 54, of Randolph, was arraigned on charges of operating under the influence as a fifth offense, operating without a license in his possession, and a traffic violation.

Feyler was convicted of drunken driving on two occasions in 1995 and in 1990, the statement said.

Melissa Hanson can be reached at melissa.hanson@globe.com or on Twitter @Melissa__Hanson.
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