BANGOR — The Penobscot County District Attorney’s Office has decided not to proceed at this time with prosecuting alleged drunken driving charges against former Bar Harbor Police Chief Nathan Young.
Young, 54, of Bar Harbor, was arrested Dec. 25 by Bangor police on charges of operating while under the influence (OUI) and violating the conditions of his release for an OUI arrest earlier in the month in Ellsworth.
“Based on the evidence we had, I didn’t think we had enough to prosecute at this time,” said Assistant District Attorney Chris Chu.
Chu said that doesn’t mean the case is closed. He said he would reconsider if sufficient evidence should surface.
“I’m not ruling it out,” he said.
Young did recently enter a guilty plea in Bangor District Court on the bail violation charge. His conditions reportedly included not consuming alcohol. According to a court clerk, Young pleaded guilty on April 21 and was fined $250.
According to Chu, Young showed up at the Hollywood Slots Casino in Bangor shortly after midnight on Christmas morning. Casino employees refused him admission, alleging he was intoxicated, Chu said. Bangor police became involved and arrested Young on an OUI and bail violation charge.
Chu said Young admitted to police that he had consumed alcohol. He told police he drove to the casino but claimed he became intoxicated only after parking his vehicle, Chu said.
After his arrest, Young allegedly claimed he had a medical issue that would affect the results of a breath test to determine the level of his intoxication. When police offered him the option of a blood test, Young refused, Chu said.
Young still faces charges from his Dec. 18 arrest in Ellsworth for driving while intoxicated. In that case, his attorney, Wayne Foote of Bangor, has filed a motion asking the court to suppress Young’s refusal to comply with mandated testing for intoxication as evidence of guilt. In Maine and other states, an OUI suspect’s refusal to comply with breath or blood tests can be introduced in court as part of a prosecutor’s argument for a guilty verdict.
A court hearing on the motion is expected this summer.
Young was fired as police chief in Bar Harbor in January 2014 after an investigator hired by the town concluded Young was intoxicated and acted inappropriately toward his officers, who arrived at the parking lot of the closed Town Hill Market to investigate a report of a person slumped over the steering wheel of a pickup truck. Young was the sole occupant of the truck.
After town councilors turned down Young’s appeal of his dismissal, he filed a lawsuit against the town. A trial to determine the outcome of that case also is expected sometime this summer.