A Sun Staff Report

LOWELL -- A 43-year-old man with a four-page criminal record and three-page driving record is being held without bail and facing his fifth drunken-driving charge.

Dale Cluff, of 131 Burnham Road, Lowell, was in Lowell District Court Thursday for a pretrial conference. Judge Ellen Caulo last month found Cluff to be a danger to society and held him without bail.

Cluff was arrested July 9 after Lowell police responded to the area of Rogers and Boylston streets for a report of an erratic operator. The caller, an off-duty firefighter, was able to give a partial license plate of a blue Volkswagen that was swerving and nearly hit other cars.

After stopping the car, police noticed that Cluff, the driver, appeared intoxicated with glassy eyes, slurred speech and the smell of alcohol, according to court documents.

Cluff allegedly admitted to drinking two mixed drinks at a friend's house.

He allegedly failed field-sobriety tests, but rejected taking a Breathalyzer test.

Police say Cluff has prior drunken-driving convictions in Massachusetts and New York in 2002, 2001, 1995 and 1994.

Cluff was sent by the judge to undergo a 90-day treatment program.


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