Magistrate Report

Magisterial District Court Judge Ronald W. Swank received notice of complaints on two Driving Under the Influence cases last week.

Trooper John P. Blaski, PSP Shickshinny Barracks, filed against Scott Aaron Kahley, 32, of Wapwallopen on July 12 on an incident occurring in Slocum.

Trooper Blaski reports that on June 22 at 2:35 am, he and Tpr. Fred Lindbuchler were dispatched to a motor vehicle accident on Nuangola Road in Slocum. “Upon our arrival we observed a blue Jeep CJ-7…at rest on its left side in the driveway.”

Having identified the driver as the registered owner, the officer interviewed the defendant who stated that he had only consumed 6 or 7 beers, but he had been texting his girlfriend when the vehicle began to roll. He also stated that he had no insurance.

Trooper Blaski detected a strong odor of alcohol on Kahley, who also had glassy, bloodshot eyes and slurred speech. At this point the defendant was placed under arrest and transported for blood alcohol testing. The blood sample was found to have a B. A. C. of 0.199%. Pennsylvania law sets the maximum B. A. C. rate at 0.08% for safe driving.

Kahley faces eight charges including one count of DUI; and one count of DUI with the Highest Rate of Alcohol for rates above the level of 0.16%, both misdemeanors. Summary counts cover driving without insurance and registration, disregard for traffic lane; texting, careless driving and having an open alcoholic container. The case is awaiting a Preliminary Hearing.

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Trooper John Stravinski of PSP Hazleton Barracks filed charges against Paul Gronka, 47, of Dorrance for an incident on April 18 at 1:21 am. Trooper Stravinski was on routine patrol on Stairville Road in Rice Township when he saw a vehicle pulled on the south side of the road, blocking a driveway. Approaching the vehicle to check on the condition of the driver, he observed that the car was running and the lights were on.

“The driver of the vehicle was sleeping in the driver’s seat. After approximately five minutes of knocking on the window, attempting to wake the driver, the driver woke up, looked around, then went back to sleep. When the driver woke the second time, he took his foot off the brake and pulled forward, the vehicle was in drive while the driver was sleeping,” court documents show.

Trooper Stravinski observed a strong odor of alcohol. Gronka was confused and thought he was at his residence. The defendant admitted to drinking and was unsteady on his feet and unable to walk without being held up. A field sobriety test was administered and the subject was placed under arrest. The trooper also observed an empty beer bottle in the vehicle and an open bottle in the center consul.

Subsequent blood alcohol testing showed a B. A. C. of greater than 0.30%.

The complaint filed at Judge Ronald W. Swank’s office on July12 show three charges in total: one misdemeanor charge was for DUI of the Highest Rate of Alcohol. A summary charge was brought for Driving while Operating privilege is Suspended or Revoked, the revocation resulting as a condition of acceptance of Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition. Gronka was also charged under the open container law. Gronka is also awaiting his Preliminary Hearing.