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Police chief avoids jail for Pennsylvania drunk driving charge

A Pennsylvania police chief that was arrested for driving under the influence will have the opportunity to work through a rehabilitation program instead of going to jail. The 60-year-old Penn Township police chief will serve a year of county probation in connection with the June 2013 drunk driving charge. He will also be required to participate in 40 hours of community service. In addition to attending highway safety school and performing the community service, the man was also required to pay more than $1,600 in court fees. Authorities report that the man was stopped because of a traffic violation at a stop sign. When officers tested his blood alcohol content, they found that it measured 0.082 percent; that is just slightly over the state’s legal limit of 0.08 percent. He was accepted into the accelerated rehabilitative disposition program, which is generally an option that is reserved for first-time offenders accused of nonviolent crimes. The chief has been a heralded officer, having received commendations from the mayor of Harrisburg. He was recognized in 2007 for his contribution to a task force that provided relief for Hurricane Katrina victims in Mississippi. The chief has more than three decades of law enforcement experience, according to official reports. Even law enforcement officers themselves sometimes run afoul of the law. The defendant in this case was a first-time offender facing a DUI charge, and his BAC was just slightly over the legal limit. As a result, he was given the option of an alternative sentencing protocol. Defendants in Pennsylvania who are facing similar allegations may also be eligible for such programs. A DUI defense attorney in Pennsylvania may be able to help such defendants learn more about their legal rights. Source:  The Patriot-News, “Perry County police chief, ex-Harrisburg cop, accepted into ARD program in DUI case” 25 February 2014

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