Updated 03/04/2013 10:12 PM
Minisink Valley teacher arrested at school for DWI
At the start of a school day, a teacher was arrested in the employee parking lot after police say he was driving under the influence. Our Eva McKend has more from the Minisink Valley Central School District.
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SLATE HILL, N.Y. -- When State Police received a call Thursday morning a car was driving erratically down State Route 6, troopers say they found a man on his way to school driving drunk.
"He had him go through some field sobriety tests, which he performed right in the school parking lot, and took the person into custody," said State Police Sergeant David Scott.
Jason Van Patten, 49, of Glen Spey, was arrested for driving while intoxicated. He is listed as a high school technology teacher on the Minisink Valley Central School District website. At this time, the school will not comment.
"It’s just another example that driving while intoxicated is very prevalent in our society. It happens all days, every day, all times of day or night," said Scott.
Some parents say they are surprised to hear about the incident and that they weren’t informed by the school.
"I mean, there’s always the question of a person’s integrity, a person’s value in life. We entrust our children every day and to hear this is really not comforting," said parent Stefanie Knapp who has children in the middle school.
"Bad enough at a work place, let alone when there are a thousand kids around," said Dennis Deutsh, a high school parent.
Troopers say Van Patten had a blood alcohol level of .11 percent. He is scheduled to reappear in the Town of Waywayanda court this month.
Both parents and police say they've officially seen it all, but hope to never see it again.
"Hopefully people use common sense and don’t engage in this type of behavior, especially when it relates to a school or on school premises," said Scott.