Townsend man charged with 5th DUI after multiple crashes


SMYRNA — A 55-year-old Townsend man with a suspended and revoked license was arrested on a fifth offense drunken driving charge Monday after a reported hit-and-run collision Monday afternoon, according to an arrest affidavit.

At approximately 2:30 p.m., the Delaware State Police said, Chester W. Gove was driving a vehicle that allegedly turned into a Walgreens exit only and struck the front center of another car. Police said the other driver called 911 and saw Mr. Gove’s vehicle travel southbound on U.S. 13 and turn into an Economy Inn parking lot where it struck another vehicle.

Mr. Gove was taken into custody by Smyrna Police shortly after the second collision, authorities said in court documents. Police claimed he pulled away from an officer and was handcuffed, and a half-empty plastic bottle of McCormick Vodka Quadruple Distilled (40 percent alcohol/.80 proof) was removed from Mr. Gove’s pants pocket.

Police said that since Mr. Gove “could not stand on his own” Standardized Field Sobriety Tests were not conducted for his safety. A blood search warrant was approved through Justice of the Peace Court 2, documents said.

Chester W. Gove

A Criminal Justice Information System check showed Mr. Gove was convicted of DUI twice in 1996 and once each in 1998 and 1999, police said.

Court documents indicated Mr. Gove pleaded not guilty to fifth offense DUI, driving while suspended or revoked, failure to report a collision to police, leaving the scene of a property collision accident, and driving in proper lane and direction.

A $5,620 secured bail was not immediately posted and Mr. Gove was held in detention. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for next Tuesday.

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