James McGonigle, the Principal at Blue Mountain Middle School was arrested for 2 counts of DUI as well as another count of careless driving in Berks County, Pennsylvania on August 30, 2012. According to the police report, McGonigle was speeding in his Jeep Commander, going 52 mph in a 40 mph zone when he almost hit an officer in an unmarked vehicle. That officer, Robert Wood, pulled McGonigle over and asked him to complete a breathalyzer test as well as several field sobriety tests, which McGonigle failed. After being arrested, McGonigle was taken to the county jail where he had his blood alcohol content(BAC) level tested, which was .2%, more than double the legal limit of .08%.
James McGonigle has waived his right to a preliminary hearing and applied instead for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program. An application toward the ARD program would mean that Principal McGonigle would not be pleading innocent or guilty, nor would he face conviction in a DUI trial. Instead, the program offers first time offenders an opportunity to avoid mandatory suspension of driver’s license as well as mandatory jail time and upon completion of the program, he could have his record expunged. However, one of the programs requirements is that the first time offender had a BAC level between .08% and .099%, while McGonigle’s was actually .2% at the time of his arrest. Principal McGonigle has also been the subject of legal issues before, when earlier this year he suspended a student for 10 days regarding a Myspace profile she created depicting him as a pedophile.