Way Over OUI Limit, Worcester Rep Arrested After Post-Session Ride
Rep. David LeBoeuf, a 32-year-old Worcester Democrat, was arrested in Quincy on Tuesday night for driving under the influence of alcohol less than two hours after House lawmakers wrapped up their second day of debate on an annual state budget.
While it's unclear where LeBoeuf had been before his arrest, State Police said the two-term lawmaker submitted to two blood alcohol tests at the barracks in South Boston that showed he had nearly four times the legal limit in his system. His vehicle was also missing its front right tire after he came to a stop on the Burgin Parkway in Quincy, and police found nine empty nips and two cans of wine in the front cupholders.
LeBoeuf, who is running for reelection in the 17th Worcester District, did not respond Wednesday to requests for comment, but House Speaker Ron Mariano said the lawmaker had assured him he would seek help for his alcohol use. LeBoeuf was arraigned in Quincy District Court on Wednesday on charges of operating under the influence, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and marked lanes violation.
He was released on personal recognizance and is due back in court on June 28 for a pre-trial hearing.
A spokesman for the State Police said at least two motorists placed calls reporting an erratic driver on Interstate 93 south in Milton at around 10:25 p.m., roughly 90 minutes after the House recessed its budget debate for the evening.
Driving a Black 2014 Ford Escape, LeBoeuf's vehicle exited Interstate 93 onto Route 3 south and continued onto Burgin Parkway in Quincy where it came to a stop before the Adams MBTA station. The vehicle, according to police, appeared to be smoking and disabled. Troopers who responded to the scene "made certain observations'' about LeBoeuf's appearance and speech, and noted a strong odor of alcohol.
LeBoeuf failed several field sobriety tests and was placed under arrest, after which troopers reported finding nine empty nip bottles in the rear of his vehicle and two cans of wine in the front cupholders, one of which was empty and the other half full. The vehicle's right front tire was also missing, and police reported damage to the rims from dragging along the pavement.
LeBoeuf was transported to the South Boston MSP barracks where he agreed to two chemical breath tests, registered a blood alcohol content of 0.329 and 0.317. The legal limit is 0.08.
State Police declined to immediately provide the official arrest report, though a copy obtained by The Boston Globe indicated LeBoeuf told police he was "coming from Massachusetts," and believed himself to be in Newton on his way home. The nips, according to the Globe, were Dr. McGillicuddy's, a liqueur that is typically mint flavored.
LeBoeuf briefly considered a campaign for state Senate to replace retiring Sen. Harriette Chandler. He was first elected to the House in 2018.
The House recessed its budget debate on Tuesday evening at 9 p.m., one minute after taking a roll call vote on a bundled amendment related to public health and mental health spending. LeBoeuf was recorded as a "yes" on that final roll call of the night at 8:59 p.m., though it's unclear whether he cast that vote in person or remotely, which has been allowed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The last state lawmaker to be arrested for driving under the influence was Sen. Michael Brady, a Brockton Democrat who was arrested in March 2018 while on his way home from a "work event" in Boston. Brady was also traveling south on Interstate 93 and Route 3 before exiting in Weymouth.
Brady, who had been arrested before for OUI, admitted himself for alcohol counseling and treatment, and reached a settlement in his case. Senate leadership waited before taking disciplinary action until the conclusion of his court case, and ultimately stripped the Democrat of his $15,000-a-year committee chairmanship on the recommendation of the Senate Ethics Committee.
"Driving under the influence is a dangerous and often deadly mistake and I am deeply relieved that no one was injured in this instance. I have been assured by Representative LeBoeuf that he will be seeking help and I will support him on his path to recovery," Mariano said in a statement.
LeBoeuf sits on four committees – Housing, Financial Services, Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, and Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities – but holds no chairmanships. His legislative biography lists his occupation as a "small business education advisor" and he is a graduate of Clark University and Harvard University.
MassGOP Chairman Jim Lyons said LeBoeuf's arrest should "immediately trigger" an investigation by Attorney General Maura Healey into lawmakers' "budget week behavior," including whether LeBeouf had been drinking with other lawmakers at the State House prior to leaving Beacon Hill.
"When Beacon Hill Democrats aren't spending our tax dollars like drunken sailors, they're behaving like drunken sailors," said Lyons, a former state representative, in a statement. "Thankfully, State Police caught this guy before he was able to hurt anyone."
The Republican Party also said Mariano should demand LeBoeuf's resignation.
"Well, at the end of the day, decisions about elected officials are usually made by voters, as it should be. I don't know that much about the case, but I certainly think, as a general rule, driving while intoxicated, drugged or drunk or otherwise, is irresponsible, dangerous and not something anybody should do," Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday when asked if LeBoeuf should continue to serve in the House. "There are plenty of alternatives to driving that are available."
The Republican governor said he is not on board with the call from the MassGOP to have the attorney general launch an investigation.
"I think this kind of falls into the category of law enforcement, which is where those issues usually get addressed. I think that's a more appropriate place," he said.
— Matt Murphy with Colin A. Young contributing, State House News Service