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A Patriot Ledger series: Summary | PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3 | UPDATES

Melanie's Story

A first-hand story from the grandfather of 13-year-old victim Melanie Powell
Memories of Melanie: A photo slideshow


State ranked among the worst in nation
Quincy judge was among first to take a hard line


TIMELINE: How Massachusetts drunken driving law has changed
Alcohol's causes and effects
How local and state courts treat repeat drunken drivers
Busiest courts in state for drunken driving arraignments

The cost of drunken driving

Massachusetts fails compared with other states
Death toll from drunken driving

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5-time drunken driver put in jail for 2 years

~ The Patriot Ledger

DEDHAM – A Norwood man whose numerous arrests for drunken driving go back nearly 20 years was ordered to serve 2 years in jail on his latest conviction.

As a result of a plea bargain agreement in Norfolk Superior Court yesterday, Michael Joseph Dockray, 52, admitted to a charge of drunken driving as a 5th offense and driving negligently.

A guilty plea to a charge of drunken driving was filed.

Judge Paul Chernoff ordered Dockray to serve two years of a 2 1/2-year jail sentence.

Dockray, who was given credit for time spent behind bars since his arrest in January, will be on probation for five years after he is released.

He will have to pay a $2,000 fine and stay away from alcohol and have treatment for substance abuse while on probation.

Canton police arrested Dockray after the car he was driving collided with a tow truck on Neponset Street shortly before 5 p.m. Jan. 26.

Prosecutor James Reidy said Dockray admitted his guilt shortly after police arrived on the scene to investigate the accident.

“He said, ‘Just take me. I’m guilty,’” Reidy told the judge yesterday.

The prosecutor said Dockray had four other drunken driving convictions in Massachusetts. The first one came in 1985 in Dedham District Court. He had two convictions as recently as 2001.

Dockray was also convicted of drunken driving three times in Gainsville, Fla., between 1986 and 1994.

Dockray told Chernoff that he planned to return to Florida after he is released.

The judge said he wouldn’t oppose transferring Dockray’s probation to Florida if authorities in that state agree.

At the time of his arrest, Dockray was reportedly wanted in Florida for violating probation.

Dennis Tatz may be reached by clicking here.



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