Judge considering blood evidence in Salem doctor's DWI case

·3 min read

Dec. 21—SALEM, N.H. — A judge is considering whether Dr. Scott Dowd's blood alcohol level at the time of a serious crash in July can be used as evidence in his 2022 trial.

Judge Martin Honigberg said Tuesday there are many "interesting, complicated issues here."

Dowd, 38, is accused of being drunk when he sped through a neighborhood and crashed into a granite mailbox, launching it into 16 Silverbook Road and critically injuring a young girl inside.

He is charged with three felony crimes — first-degree assault on a victim younger than 13 resulting in serious injury, aggravated driving while intoxicated resulting in serious injury, and three counts of reckless conduct with a deadly weapon.

Defense attorney Mark Boswer argued in court Tuesday that samples of Dowd's blood and urine were collected without his consent and in violation of his constitutional rights.

"Obtaining and executing a search warrant is not an alternative to obtaining consent," Bowser stated.

He also believes a Salem police officer who followed the ambulance from the crash site to Lawrence General Hospital overheard a privileged conversation between medical staff regarding Dowd's possible intoxication.

The victim in this case is 6-year-old Giuliana Tutrone, who was brought to Lawrence General Hospital as well but quickly flown to a hospital closer to Boston for more intensive care.

Her dad says she has returned home, but continues to recover both physically and emotionally.

A police affidavit states that Giuliana's jaw was broken in the crash and a lacerated vein had to be sewn to the left side of her neck. A muscle was torn off the same side of her neck, police said, and her skull could be seen through a deep cut.

Witnesses reported that Dowd was speeding through the neighborhood — less than a mile from his own home — before the crash.

An officer said she smelled alcohol on Dowd's breath as she braced his neck and asked basic questions. The affidavit states he was "not coherent and mumbling."

While being cared for by a Salem paramedic, police say Dowd admitted to having four vodka drinks. He later recanted that statement at the hospital, his attorney said in court.

Records show that Dowd specializes in interventional spine and pain medicine for Lawrence General Hospital and Holy Family Hospital affiliates, including Orthopedics Northeast in Salem.

A receptionist at Orthopedics Northeast said this week Dowd is "no longer practicing with us" and another doctor has taken over his patients.

An agreement with the New Hampshire Board of Medicine has prevented him from practicing medicine in the state since Aug. 5. Dowd has held a New Hampshire medical license since 2016, records show.

Paperwork explains that the board was made aware July 16 — six days after the crash — of "professional misconduct allegations" against Dowd.

What followed was a "preliminary agreement not to practice," pending a complete investigation.

The document specifies that Dowd's signature below is not an admission of guilt.

Given the number of witnesses in the case — expected to be nearly 35 — attorneys were directed to meet with each other and the clerk to reschedule the trial.

It was originally set for mid-April, but has been moved to the second week in May.

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