The chief of police in Mattapoisett was arraigned in Falmouth District Court this week following her arrest last weekend on charges of drunk driving.
Mary R. Lyons, 61, from Mattapoisett stood before a judge Monday morning, July 19, when she was formally charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of liquor and a marked lanes violation. Chief Lyons pleaded not guilty to both charges.
In a statement Monday afternoon, Mattapoisett Town Administrator Michael Lorenco announced that Chief Lyons had been placed on administrative leave, effective immediately. Captain Jason King will oversee the department until further notice, Mr. Lorenco said.
Massachusetts State Police reported that Chief Lyons was arrested shortly before 11 PM Saturday. A trooper spotted Chief Lyons driving erratically on the northbound side of Route 28 in Falmouth.
Court documents revealed that Trooper Patrick A. Bosworth was on patrol when he was alerted to reports of a white SUV being driven erratically on the highway. Trooper Bosworth said he came upon the vehicle and saw it drift across the center line, then back into the right travel lane.
The trooper stopped the vehicle and spoke with the driver, who was identified as Chief Lyons through her driver’s license. Chief Lyons claimed that she had swerved because she was “dodging other people trying to cut her off,” the trooper said.
Trooper Bosworth stated that he detected an odor of alcohol coming from Chief Lyons and that she exhibited other signs of inebriation, including slurred speech and bloodshot eyes.
When she was asked to exit her vehicle, Trooper Bosworth said, Chief Lyons was contentious in her response. Her initial response was a refusal, the trooper said, to which she added, “I don’t actually feel I have to.”
The trooper said that he asked Chief Lyons a second time to exit her vehicle and she again refused. She claimed that she was not challenging his authority, “but I am the police chief of Mattapoisett,” the trooper stated.
Trooper Bosworth said he explained that he wanted to do some tests to make sure Chief Lyons was able to drive. She finally agreed to exit her vehicle but had to be reminded to unbuckle her seat belt, the trooper said.
An eye test indicated impairment, Trooper Bosworth said, and after the eye test, Chief Lyons said she could not finish the tests. A second trooper arrived on the scene with a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT). When that test was offered to Chief Lyons, she replied, “And what if I don’t?”
“After several times of explaining to Lyons the PBT, she decided to blow,” the trooper said. “Lyons pretended to blow in each of the two attempts. Concluding my observations, I determined that Lyons was intoxicated.”
Chief Lyons was arrested and taken to the state police barracks at the Bourne Bridge Rotary, where she was booked, the trooper said. She was handcuffed before being placed in the cruiser, the trooper said, and on arrival at the barracks, she had managed to remove the handcuffs.
During booking, Chief Lyons declined to take a breath test, the trooper said, and she commented that “I know I am putting you in a bad position.”
Chief Lyons was released on personal recognizance and arraigned in Falmouth District Court on Monday. She was again released on personal recognizance, and a pretrial hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday, August 31.