Scott A. Perry was sentenced Monday to a jail term of 72 hours to six months for driving while under the influence of alcohol while on duty as Laceyville’s police chief.
However, the sentencing Bradford County Court judge, Maureen Beirne, gave Perry credit for time served for the 28 days he had spent as an inpatient at an alcohol rehab facility following his arrest. The judge then ordered that Perry be immediately paroled. Perry will not have to serve any jail time, unless he violates the terms of his parole, District Attorney Dan Barrett said.
Perry, 48, of Clarks Summit, was also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and the costs of prosecution and must undergo a period of counseling for his alcohol problem.
In addition, Perry must spend at least 24 hours on a DUI litter brigade and must participate in a victim impact panel for DUI offenders.
He will also lose his driver’s license for one year.
On April 14, Perry had pleaded guilty to the DUI charge, which stemmed from an incident that occurred on Dec. 9 in Wysox and Standing Stone townships.
At Monday’s sentencing hearing, Perry’s attorney, Jason Mattioli of Scranton, told the judge that there were two sides to Perry.
On the one hand, he is a “good-natured, educated, hard-working” individual who would give his last $5 to someone if they needed it, Mattioli said.
The other side of Perry emerged when he drank, his lawyer said.
“He is not a social drinker,” Mattioli said. “He is an alcoholic. He has been an alcoholic since he was a very young man.”
Perry, who has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, had, due to his alcohol problem, lost a prior job as an investigator in the fraud unit in the Attorney General’s Office in Allentown, Mattioli said.
He later spent a long time being sober, before alcoholism “reared its ugly head” again, Mattioli said.
Perry was an inpatient in an alcohol rehab facility from July 11, 2014, through Aug. 8, 2014, when he was successfully discharged, Judge Beirne said.
Perry voluntarily admitted himself to the Marworth Alcohol & Chemical Dependency Treatment Center in Waverly, immediately following his arrest, and was successfully discharged 28 days later on Jan. 5, the judge said.
Perry is currently attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings on almost a daily basis and is receiving counseling through Marworth’s outpatient program, the judge said.
Perry’s sentence is consistent with the recommendations of the Bradford County Probation Office and is in line with sentences handed down to other DUI offenders in similar circumstances, the judge said.
The incident that led to Perry’s arrest began on Dec. 9 in Wysox District Court, where several court employees approached state police at the scene with concerns that Perry was under the influence of alcohol.
State troopers said there was a strong odor of alcohol coming from Perry as he passed by them in a hallway in the court office.
State troopers said they made an attempt to stop Perry from exiting the building, but he proceeded to leave and enter his unmarked patrol vehicle, and he then drove east on Route 6.
State police then followed Perry and pulled him over on Route 6 in Standing Stone Township. A blood test showed that Perry’s blood alcohol content on the day of his arrest was .217 percent, police said.
On Feb. 3, the Laceyville Borough Council terminated Perry as Laceyville’s police chief.
Because Perry is a first-time DUI offender whose blood alcohol content was over .16 percent, he faced a mandatory jail term of at least three days and a maximum jail sentence of six months, District Attorney Dan Barrett said after the sentencing.
It is a “fairly standard accommodation” for a judge to give a DUI offender credit for time served in an alcohol rehab facility, Barrett said. However, “not many first-offense DUI defendants go to a residential alcohol treatment facility” after they are arrested, he said.
Barrett said he expects that Perry will have to complete a six-month alcohol counseling program as part of his sentence.