C-L board member faces DUI charge

From staff reports

A member of the Clarion-Limestone School Board faces an Oct. 19 preliminary hearing on charges he was driving under the influence of alcohol at 1:27 a.m. Aug. 21 in the City of Lower Burrell, Westmoreland County.

Gary Lee Sproul, 68, Clarion, is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol as a misdemeanor; and failure to use turn signals, and careless driving, both as summary traffic offenses.

Sproul, a Republican, serves on the Clarion-Limestone School Board, representing Region I, Clarion Township. His term ends at the end of 2021. He is seeking re-election in the November election.

According to court documents, City of Lower Burrell Patrol Officer Dominic R. Ravotti observed Sproul’s 2017 Subaru Forrester traveling over the centerline several times and on one occasion, nearly strike a curb.

The vehicle also made a left turn without signaling.

Police stopped the vehicle and identified Sproul as the driver.

Police allege as soon as they approached the vehicle they could detect an odor of alcohol on Sproul’s breath, observed his eyes were glassy and bloodshot and his speech was slurred.

Sproul allegedly told police he has “IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)” and “needed to go to the bathroom.”

Sproul allegedly also admitted to consuming “one New York” alcohol-based beverage.

Sproul allegedly agreed to submit to field sobriety tests. According to court documents, Sproul failed three field sobriety tests and almost fell over during one of those tests.

According to court documents, Sproul was arrested and placed in the back of a patrol car. During the trip to an area hospital, Sproul allegedly talked about his fitness habits, telling officers he rides a bicycle approximately 60 miles per week and lifts weights.

Police allege Sproul mentioned the topic multiple times.

Sproul allegedly agreed to blood tests to determine his blood alcohol content. Court documents contend blood was drawn, however, the statement of probable cause in the case does not include the results of that test.

The charges against Sproul indicate his blood alcohol content was .16 percent of higher “pending blood results.”