Jun. 10—ROCKPORT — A Gloucester man who is both a serial drunken driver and a registered sex offender was sentenced to a total of four years in custody after pleading guilty Wednesday to a fourth drunken driving charge.
Jonathan Hare, 38, of 16 Summit St., was arrested by Rockport police on Jan. 17, after an officer saw Hare riding on a dirt bike along Route 127A.
As the officer attempted to pull Hare over, Hare swerved onto the shoulder and then fell over on the bike, which he then attempted to hide, prosecutor Stefanie Stanbro told a Salem Superior Court judge on Wednesday. Stanbro said Hare failed one field sobriety test and then told the officer he knew he would fail any others.
Hare's license had been suspended through May 2027 as a result of a 2018 drunken driving conviction. He was also charged with drunken driving while under a license suspension for drunken driving.
"It was a stupid choice I made," Hare told Judge Jeffrey Karp.
Hare was indicted in April and was originally scheduled to simply be arraigned on the case but, said the prosecutor, he asked to resolve the case immediately.
That led to a discussion between Stanbro and Hare's attorney, John Morris. They agreed to recommend a three-year state prison term on the drunken driving charge, followed by a year in jail — the mandatory minimum — for the charge of drunken driving while his license was suspended for drunken driving.
Karp initially hesitated, noting that Hare has already done similar sentences in prison and that he would normally impose a longer term. But Stanbro said part of the reasoning was Hare's prompt acceptance of responsibility in the case.
Hare's three prior convictions for drunken driving stretch across the past 20 years, with his first arrest in 2001 and a conviction in 2003. He was convicted of a second offense in 2008 and then in 2018, after a Manchester drunken driving arrest, was sentenced to three years in state prison.
In between his second and third convictions he was charged with and later pleaded guilty to child rape and indecent assault and battery on a child, crimes that took place over a four-year period starting when the victim was 8. He was sentenced to four years in prison in 2014 and is now a Level 2 offender, deemed at moderate risk of re-offending.
After Karp told Hare that he will be required to submit a DNA sample as a result of his conviction, Hare responded, "Yes, the Commonwealth has had my DNA since, like, 2006. I don't think that will be a problem."
Hare has lived on the North Shore most of his life, and had worked for many years for a Marblehead construction company when not incarcerated, he told the judge.
He also told the judge he was eager to "get this behind me and get back to my children."
After his release he will be on the second part of what is known as a "split" sentence, with 18 months of jail time hanging over his head if he re-offends or violates the terms of a two-year period of probation.
Those terms of probation include a mandatory substance abuse evaluation and any treatment recommended, no use of alcohol, to be monitored by a remote testing device, and no driving.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis.