A Massachusetts man who belongs to Alcoholics Anonymous has been cited for a DUI for driving across the lawn of a historic site in Vermont that AA holds sacred — the birthplace of Bill Wilson, its co-founder.
When the state police arrived at the Wilson House in East Dorset at 7:30 on Christmas Eve, they found Donald Blood III, 55, of Marlboro, and his wife and his pickup truck on the expansive grounds. Blood told them he thought the front yard was a parking lot, according to the Rutland Herald.
Dedicated to Wilson, who died in 1971, the site is open to overnight guests and also hosts several AA meetings each week. There was no indication that in addition to staying the night Blood was intending to go to one of the meetings.
He told the Boston Herald that it was his wife Kathleen Donaghy who was behind the wheel of their truck when they mistook a snow-covered opening in a fence for the entrance to the inn’s parking lot. Donaghy, 54, said she only turned in where her GPS told her to.
"I've been a member of AA about 18 years," Blood said. "I was going up there with my wife. I said, 'Why don’t you go in and see where we can park and I'll get our things out of the truck.' All of a sudden this guy came out screaming and yelling about us parking on the lawn."
Blood refused a Breathalyzer and was cited with driving under the influence of alcohol, according to the Herald. Police said he will appear in court on Jan. 14.
"My goodness, you would have thought we were having a whooping time, doing doughnuts. If I wanted to spend Christmas there, why would I be disrespectful to their property?" Blood told the Boston paper, adding that he intends to fight the charge.
In 1999, Time magazine named Wilson as one of the 100 most important people of the 20th century for helping people with substance abuse problems.
The nonprofit Wilson House, built in 1852, is a mile from where Wilson and his wife, Lois, are buried and contains 14 guest rooms as well as an apartment — a “place of sanctuary where people can come to give thanks to God for their new lives,” according to the Wilson House website.
The house was renovated in 1987 and in 1995 was added to the National Register of Historic Places, according to the website.
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