State Rep. Maher charged with DUI near Harrisburg
State Rep. John Maher, who represents several South Hills communities, is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in a Harrisburg suburb last month.
Police in East Pennsboro Township filed the charge July 3 against Maher, R-Upper St. Clair, and also making an illegal U-turn and driving the wrong way, online court records indicate.
Township police accused Maher, 58, of having a blood-alcohol content of 0.184 percent, more than twice the legal limit in Pennsylvania, about an hour after an officer pulled him over for making an unsafe U-turn while driving east in the westbound entrance to the Harvey Taylor Bypass shortly before 1 a.m. June 13, court records state.
The officer indicated Maher said, “I’m sorry. I did not see ‘no U-turn,’” when he approached the lawmaker’s Audi sedan after it was stopped east of the bypass’ intersection with North 21st Street, according to the affidavit supporting the criminal charges in the case.
Maher also told the officer he worked at the Capitol and that he had been attending a dinner at a Hilton hotel, an event that was part of his job. The officer asked Maher how much he had to drink and the lawmaker replied, “I had dinner, so,” police stated in the affidavit.
The officer then asked Maher to get out of his vehicle, noting in the affidavit that Maher ”walked to my position at the back of his car and almost fell into me while trying to stop walking,” the affidavit states.
Maher’s breath test registered 0.237 percent at the time of the traffic stop, where the lawmaker also told the patrolman he was attempting to drive to a nearby CVS store, court records allege.
The patrolman also indicated that Maher wanted water after being taken in a cruiser to Carlisle Regional Hospital, saying the medication he was taking made him thirsty.
He said Maher signed the paperwork permitting the hospital to draw his blood “after some back and forth.”
“Maher was about to sign and then looked at my signature and questioned whether it was my real signature or not. Maher told me that if he worked at CVS, he would not accept my signature,” the patrolman noted in the affidavit.
Maher was later taken to the county booking center for processing.
Maher, who has served in the state House since 1997, represents Upper St. Clair, Peters Township and part of Bethel Park.
Maher was charged July 3 with DUI under the highest threshold in state law, and he also faces citations for driving the wrong way and making an unsafe U-turn. Court records indicated this was his first DUI offense.
The office of District Judge Richard Daugherty scheduled Maher’s preliminary hearing for 8:15 a.m. Aug. 18.