Man's Eleventh DUI Arrest, Police Say - Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

Man's Eleventh DUI Arrest, Police Say

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Duggan's crashed car Duggan's crashed car
Duggan, who's been arrested 11 times for DUI. Duggan, who's been arrested 11 times for DUI.
UPPER DARBY, Pa. -

A Delaware County man is behind bars tonight, charged with driving drunk and causing an accident that left a female motorcyclist with serious injuries.

Police say it's the man's eleventh DUI arrest!

The man charged is 54 year old James John Duggan, of Upper Darby. His first drunk driving arrest came in 1983. Since then, police say he's had ten more DUI arrests, eight reportable accidents, and numerous citations for driving on a suspended license. But this time, his alleged actions could have killed someone.

James Duggan was driving last Thursday night when he crashed his car Nissan sports car. Ridley Township Police Lieutenant Scott Willoughby says that the 31 year old motorcyclist who hit him, fared far worse.

"She had two broken wrists, a broken pelvis, a broken collarbone," says Willoughby. "Her humerous bone was broken."

Police documents say that Duggan pulled out of R.P. McMurphy's on MacDade Boulevard around 9 o'clock that night, without yielding to the oncoming motorcycle. Cops responding to the crash say they found Duggan hiding in the restaurant bathroom, with a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath.

"He said that he'd been drinking all night and he asked if the girl was okay on the motorcycle," says Willoughby.

Duggan is charged with Aggravated Assault by Vehicle While Driving Under the Influence. But this isn't his first brush with the law.

"Mr. Duggan has an extensive criminal history, dating back to the early 1980s," adds Willoughby.

Ten DUI arrests have resulted in six convictions.

"He has a careless disregard for his safety and obviously the safety of the people that he's hurting." says Willoughby.

The man is in jail, so we asked to talk to the father.

"I can't talk about it right now," says the father when we knocked on the door. "Go to see the lawyer."

And so we did.

"My understanding is that Mr. Duggan had been sober for a long period of time and had not been driving," says Defense Attorney Robert DeLuca.

Duggan's lawyer says his client straightened up after a 2006 DUI conviction that landed him behind bars for about a year.

"I think there needs to be more treatment and better facilities for treatment for individuals regarding this," says DeLuca. "And there are a number of factors that play into this, whether a person has a drinking problem, whether there are mental issues involved with that."

DeLuca concludes, "I think that we really need to address the problem of the alcoholics, or the substance-abuse problems that people may have getting into these situations so that we don't wind up with problems with repeat offenders."

We asked if the system was tough enough on repeat offenders.

"I think it is. Sometimes... people have problems and these things occur, but the court system does handle them and I believe that the court system handles them properly," says DeLuca.

Robert DeLuca wouldn't comment on the current charges against Duggan, so I asked point blank, "Would you want to be out on the road with Mr. Duggan, given his past?"

"Would I want to be out on the road with Mr. Duggan? I don't have a problem being out on the road with Mr. Duggan," responds DeLuca.

Police think the female motorcyclist might disagree. Her name has not been released.

She is expected to survive, but may not be in shape to appear at Duggan's scheduled August 12th preliminary hearing.

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