Vehicle in pond leads to DUI arrest

PHILIPPI – A call to Philippi police reporting a vehicle found in Shear Pond Wednesday resulted in the arrest of a Buckhannon man who was allegedly driving with a blood alcohol content more than three times the legal limit.

James B. Johnson, 34, of Buckhannon, was charged with one felony count of driving under the influence, third or subsequent offense, after he was allegedly found seated in the driver’s side of a black pick-up truck that was discovered in the waters of Shear Pond on Shearwood Drive in Philippi.

No one else was in the vehicle with him, police said.

According to the criminal complaint on file in the Barbour County Magistrate Clerk’s office, Patrolman C.E. Keller of the Philippi Police Department administered three field sobriety tests to Johnson, all of which he allegedly failed.

Keller also allegedly noticed an alcoholic odor on Johnson’s breath and witnessed him stagger when he walked.

The complaint also notes that Johnson failed an intoximeter test, which allegedly indicated that his blood alcohol content was .276. The legal limit is .08.

Johnson was formerly convicted of driving while intoxicated in August of 2008 in the state of North Carolina. He also was convicted of a DUI less than .15 within West Virginia in 2012.

Johnson is free on a $10,000 surety bond.

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