Police: Drunk Man Sought Alcohol-Free Breath To Start Vehicle

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Police said Kenneth A. Palifka, 67, tried to get people at a marina in Clinton to blow into the “ignition interlock device” on his car so he could start it even though he was intoxicated. (Courtesy of Clinton Police Department)

CLINTON – A Westbrook man with two convictions for drunken driving was arrested Monday afternoon after he tried, police said, to get someone to blow into a device intended to keep him from starting his vehicle when he’s been drinking.

Kenneth A. Palifka, 67, of Broadway North in Westbrook, and another man had been out on Long Island Sound in a boat, and drinking, when they returned to the Clinton Town Marina on Riverside Drive.

Police said they received reports at 4:40 p.m. that Palifka was soliciting people at the marina to blow into the “ignition interlock device” on his car, which he was ordered to install after his convictions on drunken driving charges. Such devices are like a breathalyzer and require a driver to blow into them. If alcohol is detected, the car won’t start.

Since the devices are ordered installed by courts, attempting to get around them is a crime. Palifka was charged with avoidance of an ignition interlock device.

Police said Palifka and his friend initially tried to remove Palifka’s boat and trailer from the town boat ramp by hand since they couldn’t start Palifka’s vehicle. Both, police said, had been drinking.

Palifka posted $500 bail and is to appear July 1 at Superior Court in Middletown.

Story by David Owens, Hartford Courant

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