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Charges filed against Cambria man who authorities say tried to drink in front of deputy after accident

March 20, 2019 GMT

Charges have been filed against a 56-year-old Cambria man who authorities say tried to drink alcohol in front of a sheriff’s deputy after a field sobriety test.

Robert G. Koehler, 56, of Cambria, faces charges of an eighth offense felony operating while intoxicated charge and two counts of misdemeanor bail jumping.

According to a criminal complaint filed Monday, a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to vehicle slide-off on Highway 146 involving a pickup truck and observed a black 2018 Toyota Tacoma sideways in a ditch.

Upon arriving on the scene, the deputy asked Koehler about how the truck ended up in the ditch and whether alcohol was involved, and Koehler initially said he didn’t know, according to the complaint.


The deputy reported he could smell a strong odor of intoxicants coming from the vehicle, and the deputy was advised by dispatch through a reporting party that Koehler had been driven from the scene earlier, the complaint says.

Koehler told the deputy a friend had given him a ride home a few hours earlier, and he then returned to the scene in a black 2018 Toyota Corolla, the complaint says. Koehler told the deputy he had consumed a few beers in Madison, but did not specify where.

The deputy administered a field sobriety test and observed multiple indications of intoxication, the complaint says.

When the deputy asked for a breath sample, Koehler asked if he was going to jail, then said, “Well, I’m going to jail anyways,” and lifted a bottle up to his mouth, the complaint says.

The deputy reported he seized the bottle after Koehler continued to try to drink what appeared to be alcohol inside the bottle. Much of the contents inside spilled on Koehler, the deputy and on the ground, according to the complaint.

During an initial court appearance on Monday, a cash bond of $1,500 was set for Koehler.

If convicted on all counts, Koehler could face maximum punishments of $45,000 in fines and up to 14 years in prison.

Koehler is due for a return date in Columbia County Circuit Court on April 29.