HALLOWELL — The foreman of the Hallowell Public Works Department will be allowed to drive city vehicles a week after being arrested on a drunken driving charge, if he returns to work next week and his driver’s license is still active.

Christopher Buck Courtesy of Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office

Christopher Buck, 53, was arrested Sunday morning on a charge of operating under the influence, with a blood alcohol level that was more than three times the legal limit, according to officials.

Buck has been on a previously approved vacation this week.

“If Mr. Buck is healthy enough to return to work next week, I would expect he could operate a vehicle, assuming his license is active,” Hallowell City Manager Gary Lamb said Thursday. “We will assess the situation at that time.”

When asked if Buck would be back at work Monday, Lamb said via email: “I always encourage any employee to get the medical (sic) they need in any situation. I will not discuss Mr. Buck’s medical issues with the media because as you know that is confidential.”

Under Maine law, anyone who is arrested for operating under the influence with a blood alcohol content of .08 or greater is subject to a license suspension, although the suspension is not immediate.


The process, which includes the arresting agency providing a notarized form detailing the arrest to the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles and notifying the person arrested about the pending action, can take up to a month. The driver also has an option to seek an administrative hearing to question whether there is cause for the suspension.

At the time of his arrest, Buck’s blood alcohol content was .26, according to Chief Scott MacMaster of the Hallowell Police Department.

It was not clear Thursday whether Buck has a lawyer, because the paperwork detailing his arrest was not yet on file at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta.

As Public Works foreman, Buck is one of four employees in the department. He reports to Lamb, who is also the road commissioner and director of the city’s Public Works Department.

Lamb said Thursday Buck was released on bail after being arrested Sunday.

“I expect the short-term license issue you have raised,” Lamb wrote in his email, “and possible future court action in the next year or two will unfold according to those agencies’ timetables.”

Lamb declined to answer when asked whether the city was undertaking further action or investigation into the matter or asking an outside agency to do so.

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