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Sleeping motorist charged in Coaldale

Published September 02. 2010 05:00PM

An Albrightsville man faces charges after being arrested in an alleged drunken driving incident in Coaldale.

Michael Robert Searfoss, 23, of 410 Pocono Road, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance and restriction on alcoholic beverages.

According to an affidavit of probable cause filed by Officer Charles A. Blesse, here's what happened: At 4:37 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 28, Blesse was on patrol in the borough when he saw a blue Ford Explorer parked at Soberick's Garage, facing Route 209 west, with the headlights and brake lights on.

As Blesse got out of his cruiser, he saw the SUV was running. He approached the driver's side, and saw a male, crouched over, unresponsive, in the driver's seat, with his foot on the brake and the vehicle in 'park'.

Blesse knocked on the window several times, but was unable to wake the driver. He opened the door and shook the driver, who then woke up. Blesse asked him if he needed medical attention. The driver said he was OK and did not need medical attention.

Blesse asked the driver for his documentation, but he was unable to find it, and seemed dazed and confused. Blesse smelled a strong odor of alcohol coming from the driver's facial area, and noted that he had very slurred speech and glassy, bloodshot eyes. He asked the driver, Searfoss, if he had been drinking. Searfoss said "yes, a while ago," and that he was trying to get to Lansford and was turning around when he fell asleep.

Blesse asked Searfoss to turn off the vehicle and get out for a field sobriety test. Searfoss agreed, but could not keep his balance and had to hold onto the vehicle to walk. Searfoss failed the sobriety tests and a breath test, and was arrested for DUI.

Blesse found an open can of beer and two closed ones in the center console of the SUV. Searfoss was taken to St. Luke's Miners Memorial Hospital, Coaldale, for a blood test. The test revealed his blood alcohol level to be 0.20 percent.

The threshold for drunken driving is 0.08 percent.

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