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High school coach faces DUI charges in Pennsylvania

Sometimes, people do ill-advised things when they are panicked and in a rush. One high school football coached may have reacted this way after an alleged drunk driving incident in Pennsylvania. He is currently facing DUI charges after supposedly fleeing the site of a crash.

The football coach will now be forced to miss his team's long-awaited entry into the league's playoffs following the car accident. The crash happened at an intersection at approximately 4 p.m. in early November. The 59-year-old coach faces criminal charges of reckless driving, failing to give information, failure to render aid and driving while intoxicated.

The man was driving a maroon Ford when the crash occurred. The police say he admitted that he made a mistake when they pulled him over. The police officer claimed he smelled the odor of alcohol on the football coach. There was also an open bottle of beer in the car's cup holder, according to police reports.

Although the police requested the man take an impairment test, the football coach declined due to a physical condition which kept him from performing the test. The officer then asked that he submit to a blood test. Prior to entering the hospital, the driver allegedly refused to give a blood sample for the alcohol content analysis.

Since the police were unable to obtain test results to prove the man was indeed intoxicated, it is possible this could be useful in his defense against the DUI charges in court. Lacking physical evidence, prosecutors may find it difficult to gain a conviction due to the only evidence being the observations of the police which can be highly subjective. In this case, it appears that the police officer even acknowledged that a physical incapacity prevented the accused man from taking field sobriety tests. While the coach may face some consequences for refusing to take a chemical test for BAC purposes, it may be challenging for Pennsylvania prosecutors to meet their burden of proof on the DUI charge in the absence of any formal tests to back up the testimony of the police officer.

Source: NBC Philadelphia, "Hall of Fame High School Football Coach Charged With DUI", David Chang, Nov. 5, 2014

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