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Merrimack woman’s fourth arrest in 2 1/2 years involves habitual offender, second-offense OUIL allegations

By Dean Shalhoup - Senior Staff Reporter | Sep 16, 2020

Ashley Rutkowski, 31, of 38 Fairway Drive, Merrimack

MERRIMACK – An early-morning traffic stop over the weekend led to the arrest of 31-year-old Ashley Rutkowski on alleged drunk-driving charges, along with a felony count of operating a vehicle after being deemed a habitual offender, according to police.

The arrest brings to four the number of times Merrimack police have arrested Rutkowski since February 2018, according to archived police reports. Three of the arrests involved charges of driving after license suspension, and two allege drunk-driving offenses.

As for the most recent arrest, Rutkowski, of 38 Fairway Drive, police said an officer on patrol pulled over a car after observing the driver allegedly commit a moving violation.

The officer, in speaking with the driver, identified her as Rutkowski, and “noted signs of possible impairment due to the consumption of alcohol,” police said.

After a brief investigation, which included road-side sobriety tests, the officer took Rutkowski into custody for operating under the influence of liquor (OUIL).

It was during the subsequent booking process at police headquarters that police discovered Rutkowski has been deemed a habitual offender, and that she also had a previous conviction for OUIL, which upped the charge to OUIL – second offense.

Police also charged Rutkowski with operating after suspension – subsequent offense, and for an open-container violation.

She was later released on personal recognizance bail pending a Superior Court arraignment, which police said has yet to be scheduled.

Back in the early morning hours of Feb. 18, 2018, Rutkowski was arrested for OUIL and negligent driving after a close encounter with a town snowplow on Belmont Drive.

Police said at the time that the plow driver reported a vehicle had passed the plow truck and nearly hit the plow blade. A few moments later the driver came upon the vehicle, which had slid off the road.

In June 2018, Rutkowski was pulled over on Back River Road by an officer who, police said at the time, “was familiar with (Rutkowski) and new that her driving privileges had been suspended.”

The officer charged Rutkowski with operating after suspension – second offense, after determining that Rutkowski’s license had in fact been suspended – just three days earlier.

Then in February 2019, Rutkowski was pulled over in the area of Camp Sargent Road and Continental Boulevard after an officer observed the vehicle allegedly run a red light.

She was charged with the violation-level offense, as well as another operating after suspension – second offense charge, after the officer determined that her license was suspended.

Dean Shalhoup may be reached at 594-1256 or dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com.


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