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Man comes to court drunk; is put in jail

Published October 05. 2009 02:55PM

A Nesquehoning man appeared in Carbon County court on Thursday morning to enter a guilty plea to one count of driving under the influence (DUI) and was under the influence at the time of his plea.

Vito Lopiccolo, 59, of 209 W. Catawissa St., was arrested on April 16 along SR209 in Nesquehoning after crashing his car into a parked vehicle. Given a test, the result was .19BAC.

President Judge Roger N. Nanovic accepted his plea but deferred sentencing to give Lopiccolo a chance to apply for the county's Intermediate Punishment Program (IPP) as it was his third offense and he faced a minimum term of 90 days in jail.

But when Lopiccolo sat down with Chief Probation Officer Ronald Kokinda for a preliminary interview concerning the IPP, alcohol was detected by the officer. Kokinda took Lopiccolo out of the courtroom, gave him a breath test, which revealed a .13BAC.

Lopiccolo was then brought back before Nanovic, who was obviously upset about the defendant's action. Nanovic asked Lopiccolo how he got to the courthouse for the plea hearing. He said he drove. That made the court more upset.

Nanovci found him in contempt of court, vacated the guilty plea stating he could not accept it because Lopiccolo was under the influence when he entered it. He ordered Lopiccolo be taken into custody by the sheriff deputies and immediately placed in the county prison.

Nanovic said he would have a hearing for Lopiccolo at 9 a.m. today, adding, "You should be sober by then."

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