A local municipal official faces a criminal trial resulting from a January DUI, after waiving his preliminary hearing on Monday morning, reports the Pittsburg Post-Gazette. J. Jason Elash is the Solicitor for McKeesport and has held similar positions with a number of towns over the course of his long legal career. A Solicitor is essentially a jack of all trades attorney for the city that researches and advises them on legal issues and regulations.
According to the Post-Gazette, Elash was leaving the inauguration party for Mayor Michael Cherepko when he crashed his SUV into a building in the 700 block of Route 48. After being taken to the hospital for a head injury, his blood alcohol content was allegedly measured at 0.196, which is more than twice the legal limit. He was also cited for speeding.
If he is convicted of a highest-level BAC (0.16 or higher) first time DUI offense, he faces some pretty severe penalties. The charge carries a minimum of 72 hours in jail, with a maximum of six months.
Because he was in an accident, he probably won't get the minimum penalty. There is also a fine of $1,000 to $5,000 and a 12 month license suspension, plus alcohol education classes and possible court ordered alcohol treatment.
An Occupational Limited License, which allows the driver to go to and from work, is available to first time offenders after sixty days of suspension.
Though it is inapplicable to Mr. Elash, for those with a single prior DUI, the penalties for a highest-level BAC DUI increase to a minimum of 90 days in jail and maximum of five years, plus a $1,500 to $10,000 fine, 18 month license suspension, ignition interlock device, alcohol education classes, and possible court ordered alcohol treatment.
Someone with two or more prior offenses can be sentenced to one to five years in prison, plus $2,500 to $10,000 fine, 18 month license suspension, ignition interlock device, and possible court ordered alcohol treatment.
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