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Forrest offered probation in DUI case

September 29, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- The drunken-driving case against Washington County Board of Education member W. Edward Forrest will be dismissed if he successfully serves six months of probation.

Forrest on Tuesday waived a preliminary hearing in Franklin County Central Court.

Afterward, James M. Stein, Forrest's attorney, said the Franklin County District Attorney's Office offered Forrest alternative rehabilitative disposition, meaning the charges against him will be dropped if he has no "criminal legal problems" in the next six months.

Stein said alternative rehabilitative disposition is a standard offer that prosecutors make to first-time offenders such as Forrest.

Forrest likely will have to pay an undisclosed amount of court costs, Stein said, but he will not serve jail time.

"I'm just glad to move past this," Forrest said after the proceeding. "It was certainly an eye-opening experience for me."

Forrest was pulled over Aug. 16 at 3:10 a.m. on U.S. 30 in the Borough of Chambersburg, according to Pennsylvania State Police.

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His blood-alcohol content was measured at .088 percent, according to court papers. The legal limit in Pennsylvania is .08 percent.

Forrest was charged with driving under the influence, failure to stay in the lane of travel and careless driving.

Franklin County Assistant District Attorney Chris Schellhorn said Forrest was granted leniency, in part because his blood-alcohol content was close to the legal limit.

Forrest probably will begin his six-month period of alternative rehabilitative disposition after he is arraigned Nov. 4. At that time, a judge will ask Forrest if he agrees to the conditions of the ARD program.

Stein said he would file for a motion to dismiss Forrest's case when the six-month period is over.

Forrest was elected to the school board in 2000 and re-elected in 2004.

He resigned in March 2007 after he received a job promotion, but he ran again in November 2008 and was elected to another four-year term.

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