Judge sends DUI case to county court
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.
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.