SOUTH PLAINFIELD — The former Scotch Plains police chief is accused of driving under the influence after his vehicle hit a utility pole in South Plainfield.

Brian Mahoney had retired in March after serving 11 years.

Police tell the 51-year-old was driving on New Durham Road just before midnight on Sept. 10 when his vehicle crashed into the pole and split it in half.

Police said the retired chief at first told the responding officer he didn't remember why he had struck the pole and later said he was on his cellphone.

The officer noticed an odor of alcohol on his breath.

Mahoney was charged with driving under the influence and failure to maintain the lane.

A message seeking comment could not be left because Mahoney's voice mailbox was full.

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