Lehigh Valley

Driver in crash had blood alcohol level 4 times legal limit

Police: Driver in crash had blood alcohol level 4 times legal limit

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - A man charged in a violent crash in Allentown had a blood alcohol level that was four times the legal limit, police said.

James Lauer ran a stop sign at Tilghman and Albright streets on Jan. 19, according to court documents. Lauer hit another car, which spun around and rolled over three times.

The people in the car -- a man, two children under the age of seven, and a woman who is 31 weeks pregnant, were injured, police said.

Lauer, 53, left the scene and was later found in his garage, too drunk to stand up, police said.

"That is an egregious example of a person with prior offenses who continues to drink and drive," said Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin.

This was the fourth time Lauer has been arrested for DUI, dating back to 2003, according to court documents.

For his first offense, Lauer participated in the Accelerated Rehabiliation Disposition program, paid fines and got treatment.

For his second arrest in 2006, Lauer was sentenced to 90 days to 23 months in jail with work release, of which he served three months.

He paid more than $3,100 in fines and fees, lost his license and was ordered to use an ignition interlock on his car.

His third DUI was in 2010. His license was suspended, and he spent one year of a one to five year sentence in jail.

At the time of Sunday's arrest, Lauer was on parole and wasn't driving a car with an ignition interlock.

"It was supposed to be in use with Mr. Lauer. He has been charged without an ignition interlock," said Martin.

Lauer is now in Lehigh County Prison on $25,000 bail.

An arrest warrant for violating parole was issued for him Friday afternoon, which will likely add more time onto his sentence if he is convicted.

While this is Lauer's alleged 4th DUI arrest, the law looks at it like it's only number three because of a 10-year look-back stipulation.

The DA and local lawmakers said they want to see tougher laws for repeat offenders.


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