Marketing a successful DUI practice can be done any number of ways and its worked for DUI attorney Benjamin Urbelis who is first port of call for many in DUI trouble.
But being arrested himself and being labelled “drunk and belligerent” may increase notoriety rather than business for Mr Urbelis, 33 who pleaded not guilty this week to operating a boat while under the influence causing serious bodily injury and negligent operation of a boat.
The Charlestown defense attorney was still behind bars in the Nashua Street Jail last night after failing to produce $75,000 bail, according to the report in the Boston Herald.
Urbelis tried to hide behind a door in court, but Judge Sally Kelly ordered him to show himself, shouting, “Out!”
Urbelis’ attorney, Daniel O’Malley, said his client has no criminal history, other than a teen alcohol charge for which O’Malley said Urbelis was not guilty. When Urbelis was 16, his driving record shows, his driver’s license was suspended when he failed a Breathalyzer and he was ordered to attend a youth alcohol program. His subsequent 17-year driving history includes three speeding tickets, two failure to stop citations, two surchargeable accidents and other offenses, with a safety class completed after he racked up five surchargeable incidents.
Assistant Suffolk District Attorney Nicole Rimar said the victim in Saturday’s boating incident, Nicole Berthiaume, 19, of Auburn was in stable condition yesterday. Rimar said Berthiaume jumped overboard to retrieve a seat cushion that had blown into the water around 7:30 p.m., but the boat drifted “and unfortunately she was hit by the propeller.” Rimar said police “searched for her arm to no avail.”
“At the time of the response there were four people in the water, which included Mr. Urbelis,” Rimar said. “The Coast Guard described him to the environmental police as drunk and belligerent. In assisting the defendant out of the water, the environmental police officer noticed that he smelled of alcohol. His eyes were glassy and bloodshot.”
Police said the 29-foot “Naut Guilty” had four men aged 30 to 33 and nine women on board aged 19 to 22 — several of them Berthiaume’s 2013 classmates from Auburn High School — as well as a 15-year-old boy. Rimar said Urbelis initially refused to submit to field sobriety tests, but four hours later blew a blood-alcohol level of .09. She said police found “large quantities of alcohol” on the boat.
Passenger Lauren Cohn, 21, of Lynn told the Herald, “Everything they’re saying in the news is wrong. I just don’t want to get involved.” Efforts to reach other witnesses were unsuccessful.
On his website, Mr Urbelis offers the sort of advice often given out by DUI lawyers:
“If you are being investigated or are arrested for a motor vehicle offense, it is important that you NOT speak to law enforcement officials about your case. Very often, people think that the best approach is to be honest, forthcoming, and apologetic. In most aspects of life, that’s probably true. When dealing with potential criminal charges, that’s the absolute worst course of action.”
He also describes himself as “a well-rounded entrepreneur with part-ownership in Julep Bar (Boston), Blue Inc. (Boston), and founder of Top Shelf Entertainment. He is well-known to many in the hospitality industry as their first call when in legal trouble.”
Source: Boston Herald
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