BRENTWOOD — An Epping man faces two counts of driving while intoxicated after he was nabbed late Sunday night, given a ride home by a state trooper, and then allegedly got back behind the wheel minutes later and was caught again.
Kenny Nguyen, 36, allegedly told police that he had a few beers that night, but pleaded not guilty to the charges and was ordered held on $1,000 cash bail or bond at his arraignment Monday in Brentwood Circuit Court.
Nguyen’s encounters with New Hampshire State Police began when Trooper Geoffrey Miller was dispatched to Route 101 at approximately 11:34 Sunday night for a report of an erratic driver who was being followed eastbound in Candia by another driver who called 911.
Miller said he parked in the weigh station just east of Exit 7 in Epping and soon saw Nguyen’s white 2016 Honda Accord pass by.
“Behind the white sedan was a black pickup truck which was flashing its headlights and also had its hazards flashing,” Miller said in the affidavit.
Miller began following behind the vehicles and reported that Nguyen’s car made several marked-lane violations and drifted into lanes without signaling and eventually headed into the breakdown lane.
Miller quickly realized that the driver of the pickup truck was the one who had called 911 as he began waving his hand out his window and pointing to the car ahead of him. Miller then stopped the car in the area of the Exit 8 on-ramp in Brentwood.
He reported that Nguyen appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. Nguyen told Miller that he had three Budweiser beers an hour earlier at a friend’s house in Manchester, the affidavit said.
He was arrested after a field sobriety test and taken to the Epping Police Department, where he agreed to a breath test that showed his breath-alcohol concentration at .10 just after 1:30 a.m; the legal limit is .08.
After Nguyen was released on personal recognizance bail on the condition he couldn’t commit any other crimes, Miller took Nguyen back to his home at 22 Lamprey Village Drive and released him to the custody of his wife around 3 a.m. Monday.
But less than 10 minutes later, Miller said he was parked at the intersection of Lamprey Village Drive and Exeter Road and saw headlights approaching from behind. Miller turned left and headed eastbound on Exeter Road while the vehicle behind traveled in the same direction.
A short time later, Miller said that as the car turned onto Main Street he noticed it was Nguyen’s vehicle.
Miller said he followed the car as it pulled into a Sunoco gas station and stopped next to a gas pump. Nguyen got out of the car and was approached by Miller, who reported that he still appeared to be under the influence.
Another trooper arrived and performed a preliminary breath test that showed Nguyen’s breath-alcohol concentration was now .091, the affidavit said. He was arrested again for DWI and returned to the Epping police station, where another breath test was done. The results of that test were .05, the affidavit said.
“Based on the totality of the circumstances Nguyen was charged again with DWI and for breach of bail,” Miller wrote.
State Police Lt. John Hennessey said the case was “certainly unusual and not expected.”
“The trooper happened to be in the right place at the right time to catch him a second time,” he added.
Union Leader reporter Doug Alden contributed to this report.