Last updated: February 16. 2013 2:48PM - 283 Views

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Wilkes-Barre Township Fire Chief John Paul Yuknavich is scheduled to begin his two-day sentence tonight on a drunken-driving conviction.


Luzerne County Senior Judge Joseph Augello found Yuknavich, 48, guilty of driving under the influence after a non-jury trial on July 19.


Plains Township police said they stopped Yuknavich on Nov. 27 after investigating an alleged violation of a protection from abuse order at his former girlfriend's residence on Oak Street. Yuknavich drove away from the house and stopped for police on First Street in Plains.


Police alleged in the criminal complaint Yuknavich's breath had a strong smell of alcohol and his eyes were red and glossy. He failed field sobriety tests, police said.


Police said in the complaint Yuknavich had a blood alcohol level of .162 percent, more than twice the legal limit.


Yuknavich was later cleared of violating the PFA.


Yuknavich's attorney, Barry Dyller, tried to have the DUI charge dismissed, arguing police did not have sufficient evidence to stop him because there was no violation of the PFA order.


Assistant District Attorney Tom Hogans, who prosecuted the DUI charge, maintained police needed only to have "reasonable suspicion" that Yuknavich had committed the DUI offense.


Augello said the officer had not determined whether the PFA had been violated and had reason to believe Yuknavich was operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.


Dyller said Thursday that he has not made a decision whether to appeal the DUI conviction.


Augello sentenced Yuknavich to 48 hours to six months in jail, and ordered the sentence to begin at 7 p.m. today at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility.


Yuknavich also was ordered to pay $525 in fines, $307 in restitution and to undergo drug-and-alcohol evaluation. He could not be reached for comment Thursday.

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