COAL TOWNSHIP - A local doctor and member of the Mount Carmel Area School Board has been charged with one count of driving under the influence of alcohol relating to an incident over Memorial Day weekend in which he allegedly stopped at a DUI checkpoint because he thought there was a traffic accident and could offer medical assistance.

Charges against Dr. Raymond J. Kraynak, 54, of 1401 Scott St., Kulpmont, whose family practice is based in Mount Carmel, were filed this week by Coal Township Patrolman Matthew Henrich in the office of District

Judge John Gembic III, of Shamokin.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, Henrich was working a sobriety checkpoint on Route 61 near Bressi Motors just east of Shamokin in Coal Township at approximately 11 p.m. Saturday, May 26. Also on duty was Sunbury City Patrolman Stephen R. Bennick, who said he observed Kraynak park a 1994 Ford convertible in the northbound lane behind a Mount Carmel Township police vehicle with its emergency lights activated.

Kraynak allegedly exited his car, staggered toward Bennick and informed the officer that he was there to help, police said.

Bennick told Henrich that Kraynak's speech was slurred, his body was swaying as he spoke and confirmed that he had been drinking when Bennick questioned him. Bennick turned Kraynak over to Henrich.

Stepped on own toes

Henrich reported he detected alcohol on Kraynak's breath and heard slurred speech. Kraynak continued to tell Henrich that he was there to help because he thought there was an accident, the officer reported.

Kraynak was asked to perform balance and coordination tests, but the defendant continued to refer to his desire to help, the affidavit says.

Henrich explained to Kraynak no accident had taken place, and therefore no additional help was needed, and he was actually at a sobriety checkpoint.

Henrich demonstrated a walking sobriety test and informed Kraynak not to start until being told to do so, but Kraynak allegedly started while Henrich was demonstrating.

On his second attempt, Kraynak allegedly took more steps than was told to take, had gaps in between each step and stepped on his own toes several times, police reported.

Henrich then demonstrated how to perform a one-legged stand test and informed Kraynak not to start until being told to do so, but again, Kraynak allegedly started the test while Henrich was demonstrating.

Kraynak was unable to properly complete the one-legged stand test, according to police.

Refused tests

Henrich instructed Kraynak to place his hands behind his back because he was under arrest for suspicion of DUI, but Kraynak initially said he would not follow those instructions.

Eventually, Kraynak complied with Henrich's instructions, but told the officer he did not want any blood taken and refused to go to the hospital.

Henrich read Kraynak the chemical testing warning, and Kraynak said he wanted to speak with an attorney. Henrich explained he could not speak with anyone before deciding whether to submit to testing.

Kraynak said he would not take any test, and he would get his own blood drawn when he was released, police said.

Henrich asked Kraynak to sign the chemical testing warning, but Kraynak said he couldn't with his hands cuffed behind his back. His cuffs were taken off, but Kraynak refused to sign it, police said.

Shamokin City Patrolman Jarrod Scandle signed the form, stating he witnessed Kraynak's refusal to sign it, police said.

Car in neutral, engine running

Bennick, who had moved Kraynak's car to a safer location, informed Henrich the vehicle has been running with its lights on. The transmission was in neutral and the emergency brake was not applied.

Henrich returned his attention to Kraynak, who said he had a couple of beers that night.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled in front of Gembic at 9:30 a.m. July 31.

A man who answered the phone at Kraynak's office Friday afternoon said the doctor had left for the day. There is no public listing for a home number.