FALL RIVER — A 69-year-old New Bedford man was convicted of his fifth OUI and will serve two and a half years in the Bristol County House of Correction.

The Bristol County District Attorney’s Office says Domingo Fernandes pleaded guilty on March 1 in Fall River Superior Court to indictments charging him with his fifth offense of operating under the influence of liquor, as well as negligent operation of a motor vehicle and leaving the scene of property damage.

Fernandes was driving a gray BMW with no license plate in New Bedford on the evening of December 29, 2018; police attempted to stop the vehicle, but then Fernandes sped off, committing numerous traffic violations attempting to escape from police while speeding through a residential neighborhood.

He struck a parked car, narrowly missed striking a pedestrian, and finally crashed the car into a telephone pole. He then fled the car on foot and was caught after a brief foot chase.

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Police say they smelled alcohol on Fernandes’ breath and that he was unable to answer questions coherently; after he was transported to St. Luke’s Hospital for minor injuries, it was determined that he had a blood-alcohol level of .17.

"The defendant is a menace on the roadways because he repeatedly drives while drunk. The facts of the case clearly demonstrate this. Fortunately, nobody was hurt despite his reckless actions," District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III said in a release.

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