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Former teacher gets 25 days in jail for alcohol offense

October 10, 2000

Former teacher gets 25 days in jail for alcohol offense



By MARLO BARNHART / Staff Writer


A former Clear Spring High School teacher's fourth drunken driving offense last November resulted in a sentence of 25 days in the Washington County Detention Center.

"Enough is enough," said Washington County Circuit Judge Kennedy Boone as he presided over Jeffrey Joseph Fignar's violation of probation hearing Tuesday.

Fignar, 41, of 13407 Cherry Tree Circle, is now band director at Falstaff Middle School in Baltimore City. He previously taught in Brunswick after leaving Clear Spring High School, according to Boone.

Defense attorney Oliver Cejka told Boone that Fignar lives with his aging parents and helps them.

In May 1998, Boone sentenced Fignar to a 60-day jail sentence, suspending all but 20 days on home detention. He placed Fignar on probation for two years.

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Fignar had been charged with drunken driving after a November 1997 accident when he hit a carload of students - his third alcohol-related offense. The first two resulted in probation before judgment.

"There's not a lot I can say," Fignar said in court Tuesday. "I was sober for 17 months and then I relapsed."

Details of the latest offense were vague but it occurred while Fignar was on probation.

Boone reimposed the 60 days Tuesday, crediting Fignar with the 20 days in home detention and an additional 15 days he spent in alcohol treatment after the latest offense.

The remaining 25 days will be served, Boone said.

The Nov. 7, 1997, accident, which involved no injuries, occurred at the intersection of Antietam Street and Cleveland Avenue.

Hagerstown City Police responded but were unable to determine who was at fault, court records said. But the investigating officer found Fignar had an odor of alcohol on his breath and glassy eyes, according to court records.

Fignar's driving record shows two prior alcohol-related offenses in 1985 and 1989, both of which drew probation before judgment when he went to court.

In Maryland, probation before judgment is not a conviction and no points are assessed on a driving record.

If there are subsequent offenses, previous sentences of probation before judgment appear on the driving record and can be considered at sentencing.

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