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Repeat drunk driver has not had valid license for 30 years

Harold B. Reardon, the Carver man arrested Monday for drunken driving for the seventh time, has not had a valid driver’s license since April 16, 1985, the Registry of Motor Vehicles said Tuesday.

Reardon, 53, pleaded not guilty in Wareham District Court after State Police arrested him for allegedly being drunk while driving a 1998 Ford Escort erratically on Interstate 195 and Route 28 in Wareham.

He was ordered held on $20,000 cash bail, Plymouth District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz said.

Cruz said the fact that Reardon continued to drive despite his drunken driving convictions highlighted the need for tougher penalties for repeat drunk drivers.

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“Some people are not going to stop driving” despite multiple convictions, he said in a telephone interview. “They’re potentially putting everybody else at risk.”

The arrest Monday afternoon marked Reardon’s seventh drunken driving arrest, according to Registry records and State Police.

Reardon, who now lives in Carver, got his first driving infraction April 9, 1983, when he was arrested for drunken driving in Boston. Reardon’s license was revoked April 16, 1985, following his conviction in the 1983 offense, according to RMV records.

“At no time subsequent to April 16, 1985, was this individual ever driving with any authorization or permission from the RMV,” MassDOT spokesman Michael Verseckes wrote in an e-mail.

Although he was not legally licensed, Reardon kept driving, according to the RMV, which also kept tallying his driving infractions, issuing suspensions, and revoking his license, most recently in 2009, when he was issued a lifetime ban on driving following his sixth drunken driving conviction, records show.

Verseckes said the agency had documented Reardon’s record “in order to properly apply any rule of law or administrative penalty for future offenses.”

“This individual’s driving record shows each and every attempt on the part of the RMV and law enforcement to prevent this person from getting behind the wheel, or the results of him being prosecuted for doing so,” Verseckes said.

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Reardon has been prosecuted in the past for drunken driving following arrests in Boston, Weymouth, Milton, and Marshfield, the records showed.

Cruz said the charge of operating under the influence, fifth or subsequent conviction, that Reardon now faces carries a maximum sentence of five years in state prison, if prosecuted in Superior Court. He said he would like to see that maximum sentence increased to 20 years.

“That gives you something to work with,” he said.

He said longer prison terms would keep dangerous drunk drivers off the road.

Reardon also faces charges of negligent operation of a motor vehicle and operating after license suspension due to a drunk driving conviction. He also faces several civil infractions, Cruz said.


John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.