Hearing for Area Man Accused of Driving High on Meth With Juvenile Passenger Set for Today

PUNXSUTAWNEY BOROUGH, Pa. (EYT) – A hearing is scheduled for today for a Smicksburg man facing child endangerment and related charges after being caught driving under the influence of methamphetamine with a juvenile passenger in his vehicle.

Court documents indicate 40-year-old Charles J. Brooks is scheduled to stand for a preliminary hearing in front of Magisterial District Judge Jacqueline J. Mizerock at 1:45 p.m. on April 7.

He faces the following charges:

– Endangering Welfare of Children – Parent/Guardian/Other Commits Offense, Misdemeanor 1
– DUI: Controlled Substance – Impaired Ability – 1st Offense, Misdemeanor 1
– Drive While Operator Privilege Suspended or Revoked, Summary
– Driving Without a License, Summary
– Careless Driving, Summary
– Compliance With Exhaust Requirements, Summary

The charges stem from an incident in Punxsutawney Borough earlier this year.

According to a criminal complaint, around 7:55 p.m. on January 18, Punxsutawney-based State Police were in a parking lot on West Mahoning Street in Punxsutawney Borough, Jefferson County, when they observed a silver Pontiac sedan traveling past with a very loud exhaust system.

After pulling out to follow the vehicle, police observed exhaust fumes exiting from under the body of the car, and then initiated a traffic stop.

During the traffic stop, police informed the driver, identified as Charles Brooks, about the exhaust leak, and Brooks stated he was on his way to Advanced Auto because of the issue.

Police observed Brooks seemed extremely nervous and had purple bags under his eyes as if he had not slept recently, the complaint states.

When the troopers asked for his license, registration, and insurance, Brooks reportedly admitted he did not have a driver’s license because it was suspended. He also reported the vehicle belonged to a friend.

According to the complaint, Brooks had a minor child in the vehicle with him.

When Brooks was asked to step out of the vehicle, police noted that he was visibly sweating, even though the temperature was approximately 30 degrees. He was then asked to undergo field sobriety testing.

According to the complaint, Brooks displayed several indicators of intoxication during the testing. He was then asked to undergo a drug recognition expert evaluation and was taken to the Punxsutawney-based State Police station. The minor child was also taken to the station, separate from Brooks.

The complaint states when initially asked, Brooks denied any drug use. However, he later admitted to using methamphetamine within the prior 24 hours, as well as marijuana in the prior week.

During the evaluation, police found that Brooks’ nasal cavity was reddened and inflamed, and Brooks stated he had snorted the meth he used in the prior 24 hours, the complaint indicates.

The complaint states that Brooks refused to consent to a chemical blood test.

The charges were filed against him through Magisterial District Judge Jacqueline J. Mizerock’s office on March 3.


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