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Lansford police report

Published September 20. 2010 05:00PM

William Lower, 51, whose last known address is 140 E. Ruddle St. Coaldale, was apprehended by police at that address on Sept. 8. Lansford police Officer Brian Horos received an anonymous call that Lower was at the address. Horos was assisted by Coaldale Officer Todd Weiss. Lower told police he was living in Oregon for the past 14 months, and came home on Sept. 2. He was arraigned before District Judge Casimir Kosciolek of Lansford and jailed under $500 bail.

Lower was charged with two counts of driving under the influence and failing to have the required registration and certificate of title by Lansford Officer Joshua Tom after an incident on Powell Street on May 13, 2009.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, here's what allegedly happened:

Tom received a call about an erratic driver operating a black sedan with tape on the windows at about 4:30 p.m. that day. He found the car heading west on East Patterson Street. the license had expired in march 2009. Tom turned on his lights and siren to pull the car over, but the driver refused to stop. Tom followed the car for about three blocks before the driver finally stopped at North Powell and East Front Street.

Tom made contact with Lower, and smelled alcohol. Lower had glassy eyes and his speech was slurred.

He asked Lower if he had been drinking, and Lower said "No!"

Tom asked Lower to take a field sobriety tests. Lower consented, but said he had 'medical problems." Tom again asked him if he had been drinking, and this time Lower admitted to having had about a six-pack. Lansford Officer Shubeck was asked to assist with the sobriety test due to Lower's alleged medical problems. Shubeck determined that Lower was under the influence of alcohol to the degree that rendered him unable to drive safely. Tom arrested Lower for DUI and asked him to consent to a blood-alcohol test at St. Luke's miners memorial Hospital, Coaldale. Lower gave his consent

Lower also faces two counts of DUI and careless driving charges from an incident which took place on June 14, 2009 on Dock Street, Lansford. Charges were filed by Det. Sgt. Jack Soberick.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, here's what allegedly happened:

At about 3:30 a.m., Soberick saw a vehicle being operated in a hazardous manner on Dock Street. He followed the Grand Prix as it turned onto East Dock Street at the Powell street intersection and continued west. In the area of 201 E. Dock St., the car suddenly veered into the opposite lane of travel, but Soberick assumed it was avoid a large puddle along the side of the road.

However, after returning to the proper lane, the car began a series of slow, swerving motions, going from lane to lane.

because of the swerving motion, he decided to stop the vehicle to check on the driver's welfare. Shortly after the "five-point" intersection on Dock Street, the car continued west on Dock Street, still swerving slightly. It was in this area that the vehicle encountered oncoming traffic and just as the two vehicles were about to pass, the Grand Prix suddenly swerved directly into the path of the oncoming traffic, causing the other car to swerve off the shoulder of the road.

Soberick had already activited the cruiser's emergency lights when he saw the oncoming traffic, but the Grand Prix did not yield until the West Ridge Street intersection, a distance of about three-qurters of a mile.

upon reaching the driver's side of the car, Soberick could smell a strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from inside. the white male operator spoke with slurred speech and identified himself as Lower. Soberick asked Summit Hill Officer John Woodward for assistance and he conducted an HGN test (an eye test that is one of three field sobriety tests) on Lower, who failed the test. he was also unable to perform any other field sobriety tests, as he claimed to have "bad legs."

Soberick could smell alcohol on Lower's breath as he spoke.

Based on Soberick's observations and Woodward's information, Lower was arrested and asked to take a blood-alcohol test at St. Luke's. The result was a 0.38 percent blood alcohol level. The drunken driving threshold is 0.08 percent.

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