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School district AD guilty of drunk driving in Michigan

A school district athletic director from Parchment, Michigan, has been found guilty of three misdemeanor drunk driving charges, but a jury could not reach a verdict regarding whether he tried to flee police after a night of drinking with his boss, the school superintendent.

The man was arrested on April 4. He told the jury at his trial that he was so drunk that he does not remember driving more than 100 miles per hour with police in pursuit, as prosecutors charged. He said he not only cannot recall driving at such excessive speeds, but he also cannot remember actually pulling over the car or police ordering him to the ground with their guns drawn.

His blood-alcohol content level registered 0.25 at the time of the accident, which is more than triple the legal limit. An open bottle of alcohol was found in the car at the time of his arrest.

A jury spent a few days deliberating, but it still could not agree on the fleeing and eluding charge. The jury obviously was swayed by the man's argument that he had so much to drink that he had blacked out. Prosecutors have not yet announced how they will proceed with that charge, a felony. If convicted of that, the man ultimately could lose his license to teach.

The man is on unpaid leave from his job. The superintendent had allowed him to come back to work after his arrest but did not disclose to his superiors that he had been drinking with the man prior to his arrest.

The man's boss bears some culpability in the case. While he said the athletic director did not appear intoxicated, as his superior on the job and apparent friend, the man needed to make sure that the athletic director was fit to drive away from the bar that evening.

Source: MLive.com, "Julie Mack: John Thompson trial raises more questions about Parchment superintendent's role in night out at the bar," Julie Mack, Oct. 19, 2012

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