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Palmerton man charged with DUI in Lansford

Published December 15. 2011 05:01PM

Terry Eschbach Sr. 55, of 270 Harvard Ave., Palmerton, faces charges from an incident which took place at 10:38 p.m. Oct. 22, 2010 at Patterson and Springgarden Streets in Lansford. Two counts of driving under the influence, careless driving, and traffic control signals were filed by Officer Jason Helmer.

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

Helmer was monitoring traffic at East Patterson and Springgarden streets when he saw a light-colored SUV traveling east on Patterson fail to stop for a red light. The driver continued down Patterson, made a quick left turn onto Walnut Street and then a quick right onto Ridge.

Helmer activated his emergency lights and siren in the 100 block of East Ridge. The SUV continued traveling east on Ridge and then turned right onto Chestnut Street and parked.

The male driver got out of the vehicle and was ordered to get back in. Upon approaching the vehicle and making contact, the driver was identified through his license as Eschbach. Helmer smelled a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, and his eyes were red and glassy. Eschbach denied having had any alcoholic beverages.

He showed poor balance and coordination during field sobriety tests, and portable breath test showed a reading of 0.115 percent.

Eschbach then told the officer he had had two martini cocktails at dinner that evening.

Eschbach was arrested and taken to St. Luke's Miners Memorial Hospital, Coaldale, where a blood-alcohol test revealed his blood alcohol content to be 0.16 percent. A level of 0.08 percent is the threshold for impaired driving.

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