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Petersen accepts police facts, gets 45-day suspension

November 24, 2011

After first denying drinking, then offering prescription drugs for bi-polar disorder as a factor, then saying he had had a “couple of drinks,”  former State Representative Petersen has now accepted the police evidence that he was, in fact, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The fact that he drove his car over the 12-inch high granite curb that noses the central island of Brookhouse Drive, which he navigates every day on the way home, was dismissed in a finding that he “was not responsible” on the charge of “failing to keep to the right.”

The disposition of this case is standard treatment for individuals with no prior record. If Petersen meets all of the requirements  during the upcoming year of probation, the charges will be dismissed.

Petersen’s lawyer, Thomas Drechsler, is reported in The Salem News as stating about his client, “He simply wanted to put the matter behind him.”

Bipolar disorder, historically known as manic-depressive disorder, is a disorder that may involve mood swings, high levels of agitated energy levels, episodes of debilitating depression, mania and,  in some cases, delusions and hallucinations. The bipolar spectrum is varied and distinct in each individual. In some people it can be devastating; in others it can be associated with creativity and positive achievements.

Doug Petersen served eight two-year terms in the Massachusetts state legislature, won numerous awards for service and leadership, and during his final term was tapped by Governor Patrick Duval to become the admistration’s Secretary of Agriculture. He has listed his current employment on his LinkedIn profile as, “Government Relations Professional.”

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