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Lawrence man faces charge for pedestrian under the influence
PUI? I’ve heard people joke about getting a ticket for walking under the influence, but here is a recent case where that actually happened.
A 64-year-old Lawrence man charged with “pedestrian under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” a misdemeanor traffic charge, recently made his first appearance in Douglas County District Court.
About 12:30 a.m. May 16 on U.S. Highway 24/59, the man was under the influence of alcohol and walking in the roadway when he was struck by a vehicle, according to officer’s notes on the ticket on file with the court. The officer noted a “strong odor” of alcohol upon making contact with the man. Following the accident the man was transported to a Topeka hospital. Approximately two hours after the incident, a breath test given at the hospital showed his blood alcohol content at of 0.076 (the legal limit to drive in Kansas is 0.08), according to the ticket.
In case you were wondering, it appears walking on a highway while inebriated enough to be a “hazard” is the key difference between being a pedestrian under the influence and just a drunk person on foot. Here’s the state statute:
8-1543. Pedestrians under influence of alcohol or drugs; misdemeanor. A pedestrian who is under the influence of alcohol or any drug to a degree which renders such pedestrian a hazard shall not walk or be upon a highway except on a sidewalk. Violation of this section is a misdemeanor.
Sgt. Kristen Channel of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office declined to share more information about the initial incident, because it’s now a court matter, she said.
The man was supposed to go to court in June but failed to appear. He was arrested on a bench warrant before his first appearance on July 28, when he pleaded not guilty. His case is scheduled for a bench trial Tuesday morning. According to jail records, he remained in jail this week.
— I’m the Journal-World’s public safety reporter. Reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 785-832-7187. I’m also on Twitter, @saramarieshep.