An Orefield man stopped by police as he allegedly sped through Coaldale was found to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.156. The government's drunken driving threshold is 0.08.
Alexander L. Brandecker, 21, of 6225 Vista Terrace, was pulled over on Route 209 by Officer Scott D. Cramer in the early morning hours of Nov. 15. Cramer clocked Brandecker at 67.9 miles-per-hhour in a 45 zone. Brandecker took about 10 minutes to shuffle through paperwork "trying to determine what was the vehicle registration," Cramer wrote in an affidavit of probable cause filed with District Judge Stephen Bayer of Tamaqua. Brandecker, it turned out, had four different registration cards for the vehicle, a red Toyota pickup truck. Three of the cards were expired.
Cramer observed that Brandecker "read each of the cards many times, putting them very close to his face to read the dates to determine which card was valid."
Three times Brandecker gave Cramer an expired card, "and would set down the valid card. I asked him three times to give me the valid card, on the passenger seat next to his knee. The card was in plain view and easily able to be read by me outside of the vehicle," Cramer wrote. "he then kept saying he can't find it."
Cramer noticed a strong odor of alcohol as he spoke with Brandecker and observed that his eyes were bloodshot. Brandecker told Cramer he didn't have any alcoholic beverages that night. Cramer asked him to step out of the truck and when he did, he stumbled and held onto the truck. Brandecker failed field sobriety tests, and a portable breath test showed the presence of alcohol.
Cramer arrested Brandecker, read him his rights and took him the police station, where a breath test was performed at 5:50 a.m.
Brandecker was charged with two counts of driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance and exceeding maximum speed limits.