Just before prom season for the last 10 years, Perry County Judge Dean L. Wilson has moved one DUI trial from his courtroom to New Lexington High School — with permission from the defendant — in an effort to instill in the students an awareness of the folly of drinking and driving. The practice was laudable, unfortunately Wilson apparently did not learn from his own lessons.
On Sunday night, Wilson struck a Central Ohio Transit Authority bus after failing to stop at a stop sign. A police helicopter tracked the progress of the vehicle to nearby I-70 where a patrol car stopped it.
Wilson refused to submit to a field sobriety test and a breathalyzer according to the police report.
He was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs and leaving the scene of an accident. Because he refused to take a sobriety test, his license was immediately suspended automatically.
The charges are both first-degree misdemeanors carrying a maximum sentence of six months each in jail. Wilson is free on $164 bail and will appear in Franklin County Municipal Court on Wednesday for arraignment.
The 60 year-old Republican was first elected to the bench in 1990 and has spoken often of the pride he feels in having deterred young people from drinking and driving with his trials conducted in the school.
Jon Saia, Wilson’s attorney said that he has not yet had a sit down to discuss the charges with his client and is not able to comment on a possible plea in the case.
Reporters attempting to reach Wilson for a comment have been unsuccessful in reaching him.
h/t: Columbus Dispatch