Principal charged with DUI
LEETOWN – Howard Guth, the principal at Jefferson High School, was arrested early Sunday morning and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and two additional misdemeanor traffic offenses.
Susan Wall, the superintendent of Jefferson County Schools, said that Guth is currently on administrative leave.
“This is a personnel matter,” Wall said. “We will follow state and county policies.”
Police said Guth was traveling on Wiltshire Road in Jefferson County and was stopped at 12:38 a.m. during a routine road patrol for traveling at 57 mph in a 45 mph zone, according to a report prepared by Senior Trooper J.A. Meeks of the West Virginia State Police.
“I was doing routine patrol on Wiltshire Road and observed the vehicle traveling above the speed limit, which is 45 (mph),” Meeks said. “I confirmed the speed of the vehicle to be 57 mph. I also observed the vehicle cross the center line three times, at which time I stopped the vehicle.”
According to the complaint, Guth, 54, of Old Middleway Road in Kearneysville, had glassy eyes and the officer detected a strong odor of alcohol.
Guth said he had consumed approximately two alcoholic beverages, according to the report.
Meeks conducted a series of field sobriety tests and Guth failed all three, police said. The officer instructed Guth to submit a preliminary breath test, which Guth also failed.
Guth was arrested at approximately 1 a.m. for first offense DUI and also charged with speeding and driving left of the center line. Guth’s blood alcohol level was measured at 0.148 percent, according to the complaint.
The legal blood alcohol content limit is .08 percent.
Meeks said that Guth’s BAC was “pretty high and up there.” He also said that Guth was cooperative and that he was the only person in the vehicle.
Guth was released following his arraignment on May 3 by Jefferson County Magistrate Gail Boober.
He posted a $1,500 personal recognizance bond. A date for a hearing has yet to be set.
– Christina Marnik
contributed to this report.