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Lansford man facing DUI count

Published February 08. 2011 05:00PM

A Lansford man has been charged by Coaldale police with driving under the influence (DUI) and public drunkenness.

Brent F. Kunkel, 61, of 355 W. Water St., was cited by Officer Jeremy Talanca at 7:10 p.m. Dec. 30.

According to an affidavit of probable cause filed with District Judge Stephen Bayer of Tamaqua, here's what happened:

Talanca was on patrol traveling west on East Ridge Street near Second Street when he saw a man walking toward him near a black Lexus sedan. The man appeared intoxicated and walked into the rear bumper of the car before walking around to the driver's side entering.

Talanca passed the car then turned around to see the man start the car and begin to drive. Talanca stopped the driver, identified as Kunkel, and spoke with him. Talanca observed he had glassy eyes, slurred speech and the strong odor of alcohol on his breath. When Talanca asked Kunkel if he'd had any alcoholic beverages, Kunkel answered "a few."

Kunkel agreed to take field sobriety tests, but had so much difficulty Talanca stopped him for his own safety.

During this time another man appeared and began to interfere in the investigation. The man said he was Kunkel's friend and challenged the reason for the stop.

Then, two other men appeared, and they, too, began to interfere.

Talanca handcuffed Kunkel and put him the rear seat of the patrol car. He took him back to the police station for a breath test to which Kunkel agreed.

Breath samples indicated results of 0.129 percent.

Talanca took information and released Kunkel to a friend to be taken home.

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