LEWISTON – Police say Carella Brooks didn’t try to hide that she was drunk when she was pulled over on May 17.

According to a police report, the 40-year-old Lewiston woman told the officer that she drank a half-quart of straight brandy. When the officer asked why she was driving, despite the fact that she had previously lost her license for drinking and driving, she replied, “Because I’m stupid.”

It was the fifth time in four years that Brooks was charged with operating under the influence. Three of the charges are still pending, and she is scheduled to go to trial this month for two of them.

Until then, she will likely remain in Androscoggin County Jail with her bail set at $5,000 for two of the charges and at $1,000 for the other.

Court records show that Brooks’ drunken-driving record dates back to 1999, when she was convicted of operating under the influence in Lewiston, then again in Rumford. As a result of the charges, her license was suspended.

She stayed out of trouble until Christmas day in 2002, when she was pulled over in Lewiston, charged again and released on $300 bail.

In less than two months, she was facing another charge.

It was Feb. 7 when a Lewiston officer said he saw Brooks swerving toward a snowbank on Frye Street. The officer followed her down Frye, College and Russell streets before pulling her over on Sabattus Street.

According to court records, her blood-alcohol level was .23 percent, nearly three times the legal limit.

This time, her bail was set at $1,000 and she was recommended for drug court, a strict recovery program that gives convicted criminals with substance-abuse problems an opportunity to stay out of jail in exchange for staying sober and out of trouble.

On the day after Brooks was scheduled to begin drug court, she was arrested again.

According to the police report on this charge, an officer spotted her Chevrolet Blazer on Pettingill Street and followed her as she swerved all over the road. When he pulled her over, he asked if she had gotten her license back.

When she replied “no,” the officer asked why she was driving. She replied, “Because I’m stupid,” the report says.

A Breathalyzer test showed her blood-alcohol to be .27 percent, according to the police affidavit.

Most drunken-driving charges are resolved in District Court with a fine or brief jail sentence.

Due to Brooks’ previous record, however, the District Attorney’s Office decided to present her three most recent cases to a grand jury to be considered as felony charges.

She has been indicted on three felony charges of operating under the influence, three charges of operating after suspension and one count of violating the conditions of her bail.

She has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges, and she is scheduled to go to trial during the week of July 14 for the charges stemming from the first two incidents. The most recent charge will be dealt with at a later date.


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