A Roxbury man was arraigned for drunk driving today, more than 20 years after he was arrested by Metropolitan Police for allegedly drifting across three lanes of traffic in what was then known as the Dewey Square Tunnel, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
RICHARD MATTHEWS (D.O.B. 9/12/42) was charged in Charlestown District Court with operating under the influence, operating without a license, concealing the identity of his vehicle by attaching another car’s plates to it, and operating an unregistered and uninsured vehicle, all for actions in the early morning hours of Jan. 12, 1989. He was released on his own recognizance after being ordered to appear by Roxbury court personnel who discovered the case during an Aug. 12 hearing on an unrelated case.
“He’s been in default for so long that the arresting agency doesn’t even exist anymore,” Conley said. “Not to mention the scene of the crime, which is completely different today.”
Then a 46-year-old Roxbury resident, Matthews was arrested at about 4:00 a.m. after a Metropolitan Police officer assigned to the Lower Basin observed him driving very slowly across all three lanes of southbound traffic. When he was pulled over, Matthews allegedly admitted to having had four or five beers and said he’d just gotten out of jail for a prior drunk driving charge.
The officer soon determined that Matthews’ license had been revoked, that his car was unregistered and uninsured, and that the license plate on his 1977 Buick station wagon actually belonged to a 1975 Toyota Corolla. Matthews refused a Breathalyzer test and was taken into custody.
According to the original file, Matthews failed to appear at his arraignment the following day. The case and his default status went unnoticed until Friday, when he appeared in Roxbury District Court in connection with a pending case charging him with trespassing and soliciting sex for a fee. Upon learning of the open OUI case, the judge there ordered him to appear in Charlestown to answer on the 1989 matter.
He will return to court on Oct. 14.