A member of the Belle Vernon Area School Board is facing potentially career-ending charges following a police stop on Oct. 21. The 78-year-old Pennsylvania man faces drunk driving charges stemming from his arrest on the night in question. As of this report, it is unclear whether he has retained defense representation.
The police report states the man was pulled over after police received a witness complaint alleging he was drunk behind the wheel of his vehicle around 6:00 p.m. Police pulled the man over and administered a roadside sobriety test, which the man reportedly failed. He was taken to a nearby hospital to be subjected to a blood test.
Police say the man admitted being intoxicated; when asked his level of intoxication between one and 10, the man reportedly answered "fifty." The outcome of the blood test showed his blood alcohol level to be twice the legal limit in Pennsylvania. As a result, he is being charge with driving under the influence at the highest level. The man has been a school board member for four years and was due for re-election in November.
If the man is convicted of the drunk driving charge, he could be stripped of his role on the board as well as lose his license. He may also face jail time. However, the burden of proof lies on Pennsylvania prosecutors to show conclusive evidence the man was drunk at the time of his arrest. Blood tests are not always an accurate indicator of intoxication, particularly if they are administered later, a fact defense representation will likely highlight in the court case.
Source: observer-reporter.com, "Belle Vernon Area school director charged with DUI", Scott Beveridge, Oct. 29, 2017