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Lansford man faces 6 charges after DUI stop

Published December 16. 2011 05:00PM

Carl Kopack Jr., 44, of 114 W. Patterson St., Lansford, faces charges from an incident which took place at 10:41 p.m. Feb. 12 at Patterson and Springgarden streets. Six counts of driving under the influence, driving with no headlights, careless driving, and driving on roadways laned for traffic were filed by Officer Jason Helmer.

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

Helmer was on duty and headed east on Patterson Street when he saw a westbound dark color SUV without a passenger side headlight approaching Springgarden Street. Helmer turned on his warning lights to pull the car over, but the driver failed to stop, instead continuing toward Coaldale.

The SUV began to cross the double yellow lines and veer back to the white fog line several times within one block.

In the 100 block of West Patterson, the SUV quickly made a right turn into an open driveway without signaling, and then struck a snow bank with the front of the vehicle while attempting to make a U-turn back onto Patterson. The SUV got stuck, and the driver kept spinning the wheels and revving the engine, trying to get the vehicle free.

Helmer got out of his cruiser and told the driver to stop the engine, but was ignored.

The SUV stalled, and the driver tried starting it again, but failed. Upon removing the driver from the vehicle, Helmer noted a strong smell of alcohol on the man's breath.

The driver was identified by his license as Kopack Jr. He told Helmer he had drunk three beers before getting behind the wheel. Helmer noticed Kopack's speech was slurred, that his eyes were red and glassy and that he had trouble maintaining his balance.

Kopack Jr. presented poor signs of coordination and inability to maintain balance during a series of field sobriety tests. A portable breath test revealed a blood-alcohol level of 0.125 percent.

He was taken to St. Luke's miners memorial Hospital, Coaldale for a blood test, which revealed a blood-alcohol content of 0.21 percent. A level of 0.08 percent is the threshold for impaired driving. Kopack Jr.'s blood also tested positive for marijuana use.

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