Judge sends DUI case to county court

North Penn Life - - NEWS - By Dan Sokil dsokil@jour­nal­reg­is­ter.com

A Lans­dale man is headed to county court on charges he al­legedly drove drunk to the Towa­mencin po­lice sta­tion in April.

Al­bert Jerome Fra­cas, 52 of the 100 block of Ard­wick Ter­race, Lans­dale, had his charges held over to county court in a pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing Tues­day be­fore Dis­trict Judge Harold Borek.

“I guess the best com­ment is no com­ment,” said Fra­cas, as he was es­corted into a pa­trol car by Towa­mencin po­lice for trans­port to the Bucks County Cor­rec­tional Fa­cil­ity.

Ac­cord­ing to po­lice, Fra­cas was sched­uled to have a pro­ba­tion hear­ing at the Towa­mencin po­lice sta­tion April 30, and on the af­ter­noon of the sched­uled hear­ing, a county pro­ba­tion of­fiFHU WROG SROLFH WKDW D PDQ had checked in for the hear­ing while in­tox­i­cated.

7RwDPHQFLQ 3DWURO 2IfiFHU -DPLH 3RSRvLFH WHVWL­fiHG in the pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing WKDW WKH PDQ LGHQWL­fiHG KLP­self as Fra­cas and said that he had “sev­eral shots” be­fore the hear­ing and “stated that he thought he was lK to drive but ‘I was ob­vi­ously wrong.’”

Po­lice said Fra­cas had blood­shot eyes and a strong odor of al­co­hol was no­ticed when he and the pro­ba­tion RI­fiFHU wHUH LQ D FRQIHUHQFH room. When asked to sub­mit to a blood test, Fra­cas al­legedly could not keep his bal­ance and re­port­edly blew a por­ta­ble breath test that gave a pos­i­tive read­ing for the pres­ence of al­co­hol.

Po­lice deemed fur­ther fiHOG WHVWLQJ WR bH uQVDIH be­cause Fra­cas ap­peared un­able to keep his bal­ance, ac­cord­ing to Popovice, and af­ter Fra­cas was ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of DUI, he was taken to Abing­ton Health: Lans­dale Hospi­tal, where he con­sented to a blood test. That test later re­vealed a 0.297 per­cent BAC and was drawn roughly two hours af­ter se­cu­rity cam­eras showed Fra­cas’ car ar­riv­ing at the sta­tion, po­lice said.

At­tor­ney

Fiorindo

Vag- nozzi ar­gued on Fra­cas’ be­half that while sur­veil­lance video showed Fra­cas’ car, de­scribed by po­lice as a green Chrysler LeBaron, arrive at the sta­tion, the video did not show who was drivLQJ WKH FDU DQG QR RI­fiFHU saw if Fra­cas was driv­ing it at the time.

“My de­fen­dant may have ad­mit­ted to hav­ing a drink be­fore he got there, but there’s no ev­i­dence that the GULQN wDV VuI­fiFLHQW WR FDuVH KLP WR bH uQGHU WKH LQflu­ence, and no one saw him op­er­ate a mo­tor ve­hi­cle,” Vag­nozzi said.

Borek ruled that Fra­cas could make that ar­gu­ment in county court be­cause the ad­mis­sion of drink­ing be­fore the hear­ing, the cir­cum­stan- tial ev­i­dence of his ap­pear­ance and odor and the BAC test af­ter­ward com­bined to es­tab­lish enough ev­i­dence to hold the charges over for court.

Fra­cas is now sched­uled to ap­pear for a for­mal ar­raign­ment in county court Nov. 7.

Ac­cord­ing to court records, Fra­cas was ar­rested in Novem­ber 2008 for an al­leged DUI with a BAC above 0.16 per­cent in War­ring­ton Town­ship, Bucks County, af­ter an ar­rest in Au­gust 2008 in War­ring­ton on charges of crim­i­nal mis­chief DQG GH­fiDQW WUHVSDVVLQJ.

Fra­cas was also ar­rested and charged for an al­leged DUI in Le­high County in July 2006, ac­cord­ing to court records.

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