Acclaimed chef Barbara Lynch on Friday resolved her drunken driving case pending out of Gloucester and is now focused on “my health, the growth of my business, and achieving work/life balance,” the South Boston native said in a statement released by a spokeswoman.
In the statement, Lynch said she “agreed to accept the terms of the Court, known legally as a ‘continuance without a finding.’”
A continuance means that a defendant admits to sufficient facts for a finding of guilt without actually pleading guilty, thereby avoiding a conviction. The case is dropped once the defendant successfully completes a term of probation without reoffending.
Lynch will be on probation until November 2018, her license is suspended for 60 days, and she will have to complete an alcohol education program, according to the clerk’s office in Gloucester District Court and Essex County prosecutors.
Such a resolution is common for first-time OUI offenders.
Lynch is known as the force behind restaurants like No. 9 Park, Menton, and B&G Oysters, and she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.
Gloucester police said previously that she crashed her 2015 Mini Cooper into an unoccupied 2006 Toyota Tacoma around 4:30 a.m. on July 18 near 468 Washington St. She was arrested and charged with operating under the influence of liquor after a field sobriety test.
Authorities did not disclose her blood alcohol level at the time of the crash.
In Friday’s statement, Lynch did not say whether she was intoxicated when her vehicle struck the Tacoma. Instead, she attributed the crash to fatigue.
“I have apologized to my work family for embarrassing them by the decision I made to drive home late at night and for thinking that I was invulnerable to the effects of stress and fatigue,” Lynch said. “I remain grateful that no one else was injured. . . . To succeed in any business, it takes hard work and commitment. And it’s easy for life to get out of balance. It’s easy to lose sight of one’s own personal health and needs.”
She also vowed to continue with a mission-driven approach to her work.
“I will . . . continue to focus the energies of the Barbara Lynch Gruppo on projects that are purposeful — that contribute to the strength of communities and the wellness of people,” Lynch said. “My employees remain a priority. The passionate and talented individuals who elect a career in hospitality choose to do so because of a love for what they do. The Barbara Lynch Gruppo will continue to capture that passion and energize it in creative and purposeful ways.”
In addition to her celebrated career as a restaurateur, Lynch is also an author.
In April, she published a memoir, “Out of Line: A Life of Playing with Fire.”
An Amazon review says that in the gritty book, Lynch credits “her upbringing in tough, poor ‘Southie,’ a neighborhood ruled by the notorious Whitey Bulger gang, with helping her bluff her way into her first professional cooking jobs; develop a distinct culinary style through instinct and sheer moxie; then dare to found an empire of restaurants ranging from a casual but elegant ‘clam shack’ to Boston’s epitome of modern haute cuisine.”
The review says Lynch also writes candidly about her youthful struggles.
“She earned a daredevil reputation for boosting vehicles (even a city bus), petty theft, drinking and doing drugs, and narrowly escaping arrest — haunted all the while by a painful buried trauma,” the write-up states.Travis Andersen
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