Mont Vernon man found allegedly passed out at the wheel faces several charges

MONT VERNON – Police charged a local man with his third DWI offense Saturday evening after an officer on routine patrol found him passed out behind the wheel of his running vehicle, police said.

Howard Welch, 56, of 73 Beech Hill Road, Mont Vernon, was arrested around 7 p.m. Saturday, April 12, after the officer came across a Dodge van stopped on the dirt shoulder of Beech Hill Road with the engine running and stopped to investigate, according to Sgt. Aaron R. Daigneault.

The officer found a man, police said they later identified as Welch, slumped over the steering wheel.

Daigneault said it took the officer several attempts to awaken Welch, after which the officer conducted an investigation that resulted in Welch’s arrest.

The van was stopped in front of 51 Beech Hill Road, roughly a half-mile east of Welch’s residence.

Welch faces charges of driving while intoxicated, aggravated driving while intoxicated for having a high alcohol concentration, police said, and driving while intoxicated – third offense, for having two prior convictions within 10 years.

He was also charged with an open container violation.

Police said Welch was freed on $1,200 personal recognizance bail, pending an April 22 appearance in Milford district court.