Yohe, 59, of Huntington, W.Va., was pulled over at 12:30 a.m. Saturday after Officer Mike Delawder observed that he ran the stop sign at Marion Pike and Third Street in Coal Grove. Yohe, who was driving a silver Ford F-150, also drove over the concrete lane divider and crossed the centerline, according to Coal Grove Police Chief Eric Spurlock.
Yohe was charged with first-offense DUI, having an open container of alcohol, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia associated with the marijuana, as well as traffic violations for running a stop sign and leaving his lane, Spurlock said.
Yohe was arrested and taken to the Ironton Police Department where Yohe’s blood-alcohol level was determined to be .121, Spurlock said. The legal limit in Ohio is .08.
Authorities do not typically take individuals who commit misdemeanor DUI offenses to the Lawrence County Jail because of overcrowding issues, Spurlock said. Yohe was released on his own recognizance and called a taxicab.
“Nothing like this has ever happened to me before. I am deeply humiliated, embarrassed and sorry,” Yohe said.“I apologize to my station and to my wife. Nothing like this will ever happen again.”
Yohe said he did not know that a friend he had given a ride to had left the marijuana, listed as a small amount on the citation, and paraphernalia in his vehicle.
On Monday, the DUI charge was reduced to aggravated reckless driving by Spurlock, a move the chief said is routine for an individual’s first offense if there is a relatively low blood-alcohol level.
Aggravated reckless driving doesn’t revoke driving privileges and carries a $1,000 fine compared to an $800 fine for DUI.
Yohe picked up his car from the impound lot in the village Monday and satisfied all charges against him by paying $2,020 in fines. He still has the right to appear in court on Oct. 30 to change his plea or dispute the charges, Spurlock said.
A copy of the complete traffic ticket and officer narrative was not immediately available.