Logging truck driver Vaughn Hardesty, 41, of Windham, is still in custody charged with driving to endanger after allegedly driving drunk on routine delivery through Norway.

On Monday, Norway police arrested Hardesty after several witnesses reported that his 97,000-pound tractor trailer was swerving into the oncoming lane and forcing cars off the road. Hardesty refused to take a Breathalizer test, but police discovered two bottles of Vodka in his truck – one empty, the other half full.

According to his employer, William Day Jr. and Sons Inc., prior license suspension and a series of traffic violations did not appear on his driving record when the trucking company processed his license upon hire.

William Day, owner of the logging company Hardesty was driving for, now questions why a search of Hardesty’s record by his insurance company did not reveal any suspensions or large number of traffic convictions reported by police.

“Nobody seems to be able give us an answer on how he slipped through the system,” Day said.

The logging company hired Hardesty two months ago. As for every new hire, the company had its insurance company check Hardesty’s license.

His driving record came up clean with only a couple minor traffic infractions, but no suspension. Norway police report that his driving record had 19 previous traffic convictions including a suspension for driving while intoxicated in 1999.

Now the logging company is double-checking the driving records of all its truckers, most of whom are veterans of the company.

Hardesty was delivering logs to West Paris when police arrested him. After the company hired him, he was supervised on several test deliveries and judged on his driving skills. He appeared to be a “darn good driver,” says Day, and came with experience of cross-country hauls.

“We had no beef with him up until the last couple of weeks,” Day said. “Then we noticed something was wrong.”

Day believes Hardesty may have been going through difficulties in his private life recently, but didn’t press him on the issue.

Hardesty is being held at the Oxford County Jail on eight charges stemming from the drunk driving incident.

Vaughn Hardesty of Windham was arrested for operating under the influence of alcohol in Norway. He also had 19 previous convictions.

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