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Worcester man arrested for 11th alleged drunk driving offense

David Silvestri was spotted by Auburn police driving about 20 miles under the speed limit with headlights off around 2 a.m.

Auburn Police Department

David Silvestri was spotted by Auburn police driving about 20 miles under the speed limit with headlights off around 2 a.m.

A 60-year-old Worcester man with an extensive record of drunken driving arrests in three states was apprehended in Auburn early Friday, again charged with operating under the influence, officials said.

David Silvestri was allegedly spotted by Auburn police driving on Southbridge Street about 20 miles under the speed limit with his headlights off at about 2 a.m., Auburn Detective Sergeant Scott Mills said in a telephone interview Friday.

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After being stopped, the officer tried to get Silvestri to perform a Breathalyzer test, but Mills said that Silvestri was “unable to provide a sufficient sample,” and was subsequently arrested on the drunken driving charge.

Mills said Silvestri’s driving history shows three arrests for drunken driving in Massachusetts in the 1970s, five arrests in Florida for operating under the influence in the 1980s, and three arrests for operating under the influence in Texas in the 1990s.

Despite his repeated arrests and multiple convictions, Silvestri’s license was valid when he was arrested in Auburn, Mills said.

“Why Silvestri still has a valid license is the million-dollar question,” Mills said.

According to Mike Verseckes, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, Silvestri still had a valid driver’s license because Friday was the first time he has been arrested on OUI charges with a Massachusetts driver’s license since the Lifetime Look-Back Law took effect in Massachusetts in 2002. During his prior offenses, Verseckes said Silvestri held a Florida license.

The Look-Back Law caused the Registry of Motor Vehicles to consider an individual’s entire history in all states when calculating revocation or suspension periods for OUI, which it did not do previously.

“Because [Silvestri’s] previous OUIs were committed with a Florida license, they technically” could not be held against him in Massachusetts prior to the Look-Back Law taking effect, Verseckes said in an e-mail.

The technicality means Massachusetts officials, prior to 2002, were not able to consider some of Silvestri’s prior arrests in other states when he was charged in the Bay State.

Silvestri pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Worcester District Court on Friday to charges of operating under the influence, fourth offense, said Timothy Connolly, spokesman for Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

He also faces two traffic citations, one for driving with his headlights off and another for a marked lanes violation, Connolly said.

Silvestri is currently being held without bail, pending a dangerousness hearing on Tuesday.

Trisha Thadani can be reached at trisha.thadani@globe.
com.
Follow her on Twitter @TrishaThadani.
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