Mass. Firefighter Cited for Driving Without License

A criminal citation has been issued to suspended Lowell firefighter Donald Goyette for driving a fire truck without a license.


LOWELL, Mass. -- The Police Department has issued a criminal citation to suspended Lowell firefighter Donald Goyette for driving a Lowell Fire Department fire truck twice on Dec. 9, 2011, without a license.

Goyette allegedly never told city officials he lost his right to drive for 180 days because he refused to take a Breathalyzer test after he was stopped in Boston on Oct. 20, 2011, by a Massachusetts state trooper for allegedly driving drunk.

According to state law, any motorist who refuses the Breathalyzer test automatically loses their driver's license for 180 days. Goyette was later found not guilty.

The citation was issued by Lt. Timothy Crowley, who oversees the Traffic Division. Deputy Supt. Arthur Ryan Jr., who oversaw Crowley's investigation, said Wednesday Goyette will be required to report to Lowell District Court in the near future to appear before the clerk of courts or an assistant clerk. During that hearing, a determination will be made on whether the case should go before a judge.

"It's not like he can pay a fine and be done with it," Ryan said.

The two calls that Goyette drove a fire truck to were both medical in nature -- one to a location on Merrimack Street, the other to Gage Street. Goyette was stationed at the Central Fire Station. Goyette could not be reached on his cellphone.

Goyette, driving his red Ford F-250 pick-up, was stopped by trooper Kevin Murray after Goyette drove over a curb and stopped on grass on the west side of Storrow Drive near the Hatch Shell in Boston.

According to Murray's report, Goyette's eyes were "red and glossy," there was an odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle and Goyette was "unsteady" on his feet. He also refused to perform field sobriety tests.

City Manager Bernie Lynch put Goyette on unpaid administrative leave July 18, the same day he was to hold a disciplinary hearing. The hearing was postponed indefinitely due to scheduling conflicts.

Lynch is exploring whether Goyette should be terminated.