POLICE: DRIVER IN ‘91 FATAL DUI CRASH VIOLATED CONDITIONS
By Gregory J. Lamoureux
St. Albans: Police have filed charges against Douglas Gardner after they say he again, drank, violating his conditions of release.
Gardner, a convicted felon and repeat offender, is most well known for the DUI crash that killed Billy LaBier in 1991, but has since served his time in prison and is out on probation.
Gardner was released from prison in 2014, but was arrested a month later for DUI after crashing his car on Route 78 in Highgate.
After the conviction of the DUI crash that killed LaBier, Gardener’s license was criminally suspended for life.
In the latest case, police and corrections officers stopped by Gardner’s home to check on him. When they were questioning Gardner, he initially told officers that he had not consumed any alcohol, a condition of his release.
Gardener later admitted to the officers that he had indeed consumed alcohol after officer’s discovered three empty Budweiser cans in his vehicle, according to court records.
Prosecutors asked for Gardner to be held without bail, due to the safety of the community when Gardner consumes alcohol.
Instead, Judge Robert Mello imposed conditions of release on the man including that he wear a “SCRAM” unit, an electronic unit that records alcohol content in the bloodstream.
Pat LaBier, Billy LaBier’s mother, sat in the courtroom shaking her head.
“I know that spending the rest of his life in jail isn’t going to anything.” LaBier said “Because he spent 20 years of his life in jail. It didn’t do much. You’d think that after 20 years he wouldn’t drink at all.”
Gardner was also ordered to report to the Howard Center in Burlington for counseling.
Visibly shaken, LaBier said the actions that Gardner had taken has ruined her life and the lives of her family.
“It is what is,” LaBier said. “I’ll just keep coming to court whenever he violates. And he will.”