DuBOIS — Sandy Township Police have filed driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances charges against a 63-year-old DuBois man as a result of a minor two-vehicle accident on Bay Road just outside Treasure Lake.
Theodore R. Punchios, 1109 S. Main St., DuBois, was charged Nov. 27 with a misdemeanor count of DUI and a summary count of following too closely as a result of an accident which occurred at 1:06 p.m. Nov. 17.
According to an affidavit of probable cause filed at District Judge Patrick Ford’s office in DuBois, Michael Scablin reported that the vehicle that had rear-ended him was attempting to leave the scene.
When police got to the scene, they saw both involved vehicles parked on the edge of the road facing north. The vehicle belonging to Scablin was positioned in front of the other vehicle with minor damage to the rear bumper. The other vehicle, driven by Punchios, was observed to have minor front end damage, and parked behind the Scablin vehicle.
Through investigation, the police determined Punchios failed to brake adequately and slow his vehicle and rear-ended the Scablin vehicle as he was slowing and approaching the back gate of Treasure Lake, which requires a full stop prior to entry, the affidavit said.
During a conversation with Punchios, the police said in the affidavit that he was semi-coherent and had difficulty articulating what had happened as his speech was slurred and he was talking very slowly. As the police spoke with him, they detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage and his eyes were red and glassy. He was eventually able to tell the police that he had run into the other vehicle.
Punchios told the police that he had two Budweisers but did not tell the police where he drank the beer or how long ago he had them, the affidavit said.
During the interaction with the police, Punchios was unable to provide his driver’s license and pulled out several credit cards instead.
Punchios was then asked to exit his vehicle and submit to a field sobriety test. As he exited his gait was unsteady and wobbly as he walked around the rear of his vehicle, the affidavit said. Once at the rear of his vehicle, the police administered the Standardized Field Sobriety Testing and he did not perform the tests satisfactorily. The affidavit said that Punchios did operate and was in actual physical control of his vehicle after imbibing a sufficient amount of alcohol such that he was rendered incapable of safe driving which was a contributing factor in a motor vehicle accident.
Punchios was then placed under arrest for suspicion of DUI without a warrant as specifically authorized by the DUI statute. Punchios was then transported by police to Penn Highlands DuBois for a legal blood draw. Once at the Emergency Room, Punchios had trouble standing without the police officer’s support and he was escorted to the hospital.
While at the hospital, Punchios was asked to submit to a blood test but refused, the affidavit said. He was then escorted outside the hospital and released to a relative.
His preliminary hearing has been scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 4, 2019, at Ford’s office.