State Senator Michael D. Brady was arrested in Weymouth over the weekend for drunken driving and pleaded not guilty Monday to one count of operating under the influence of liquor, one count of negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and one civil count of a marked lanes violation, according to court records and officials.
When a Weymouth police officer pulled the Brockton Democrat over early Saturday and told the senator he would be testing his ability to drive a car, Brady handed the officer a Massachusetts identification card “and stated he was a state senator,” according to a written description of the arrest by police.
Brady was unsteady on his feet, had bloodshot and glassy eyes, slurred his words, and his breath reeked of alcohol, police said. He failed several sobriety tests, they said.
In a statement, Brady, 55, acknowledged he was taken into custody by police and apologized for the fallout from the arrest.
“While driving home, I was stopped early in the morning on Saturday, March 24, by the Weymouth police on Route 18 in South Weymouth and placed under arrest. I was released later in the morning,” said Brady, who was first elected to the Senate in a 2015 special election and reelected in 2016.
“I want to apologize to the Weymouth police, my constituents, my friends, and colleagues in the Legislature for any embarrassment and distraction that this incident causes. I know that as a senator, I am held to a higher standard, and I will abide by the advice of my counsel as this matter is adjudicated by our judiciary,” he said. “I am grateful for the fairness, integrity, and transparency of that process.”
Brady, who police said declined to take a chemical breath test, said he doesn’t anticipate making any further statement in the matter.
According to a police description of events, Brady “failed” multiple sobriety tests.
The first required him to recite the alphabet from A to Z. The senator “slurred the letters together to get to H, I, J; he then repeated H, I, J.”
Brady subsequently gave two officers a look of confusion, and then stated “Z,” according to the police narrative.
The second required Brady to count aloud backward from 60 to 40.
Brady, slurring his words, correctly counted from 60 to 50 but then “kept repeating numbers in the 40’s,” the police narrative said.
Brady then continued counting into the 30s, before he was stopped. Police say Brady went on to fail three other tests, including one where he struggled to balance on one foot and count — swaying left to right, putting his foot down numerous times, switching feet, and slurring numbers together.
Police say Brady was also charged with OUI on Dec. 4, 1998, in Weymouth.
His driving record from the state Registry of Motor Vehicles shows a violation for failing to wear a seat belt on the same date, but not a drunken driving violation.
The RMV record also shows another Brady seat belt violation on June 29, 2003.
Brady served on the Brockton City Council from 1997-2009, according to his official biography.
He was elected a state representative in 2008.
Senate President Harriette L. Chandler, a Worcester Democrat, expressed dismay with Brady’s arrest over the weekend. “I’ve spoken to Senator Brady and expressed my disappointment,” she said. “We hold legislators to a higher standard, and I expect him to live up to those standards in the future.”
But Senator Karen E. Spilka, who has claimed enough votes to be the next Senate president, stopped short of expressing disappointment.
“Driving drunk is unacceptable under any circumstance,” she said. “I appreciate that Senator Brady has apologized for his actions, and I expect he will cooperate fully with investigators and work to address any charges as soon as possible.”
John Diamond, who the Norfolk district attorney’s office said is Brady’s lawyer in the matter, did not respond to a request for comment.
But the Massachusetts Republican Party, which hopes to unseat Brady this fall, knocked him within hours of news reports about his arrest. Brady represents Brockton, part of East Bridgewater and several other towns — a politically competitive Senate district.
“It’s deeply disturbing that a sitting legislator would attempt to leverage the weight of his taxpayer-funded public office when facing arrest,” MassGOP spokesman Terry MacCormack said in a statement.
“It’s why voters are fed up with the unaccountable culture in the Democrat-run Legislature, in which there is one set of rules for the insiders, and another for everyone else,” MacCormack added.Joshua Miller can be reached at email@example.com.