Five-time drunken driver who left toddlers alone at home gets 2½ years

Tamara Race

A Pembroke man who left his young daughters at home while he drove around town drunk will spend the next 2½ years in jail.

On Tuesday in Brockton Superior Court, Jonathan W. Baker, 38, of 5 Hatch Road, Pembroke, pleaded guilty to fifth-offense drunken driving and two counts of reckless endangerment of a child.

Judge Carol Ball sentenced him to 2½ years in state prison on the drunken-driving conviction and three years of probation on each of the endangerment convictions. The probation will be served after Baker’s prison sentence.

Baker left his daughters, 2 and 3, home alone while he drove around town drunk in May 2007.

A motorist called police after Baker’s pickup truck nearly struck her vehicle.

Police said Baker was driving erratically and could barely stand or speak when officers pulled him over at a gas station.

He did not mention that his daughters were home alone until police took him to the station for booking.

Pembroke Police Chief Willard Boulter Jr. said he had never seen such an incident.

Police went to Baker’s home, picked up the children and tended them for several hours until their mother arrived to get them.

After investigating, state Department of Social Services officials advised the mother to find a more suitable caretaker.

In the past 20 years, Baker has been found guilty of driving drunk in Cohasset, Norwell, Scituate and Plymouth. He has refused alcohol tests on four occasions and has had his license suspended 11 times.

He also has been charged several times with driving without a license, speeding, refusing to obey police and other driving infractions, and he has been involved in several accidents.

Baker was driving with a hardship license when he was arrested in May of last year.

The state revoked an eight-year driving suspension in 2002, allowing Baker to drive for work or medical reasons during specific hours.

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