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Cop Charged with DUI Accepted for First-Time Offenders Program

But Richard M. Hoffman still faces loss of his job for August drunken driving crash.

A Bethlehem police officer who was arrested in August for drunken driving was accepted Monday into a program for first-time offenders, according to published reports.

If Richard M. Hoffman successfully completes the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program, he can avoid having a criminal record in his future. But his status as a member of the Bethlehem Police Department remains very much in jeopardy.

In December, former Police Chief Craig Finnerty recommended that Hoffman’s employment be terminated and, last week, Mayor Bob Donchez recommended that City Council proceed with a termination hearing.

Hoffman was charged after crashing his personal car into a legally parked vehicle on E. Broad Street, near High Street, on Aug. 8, police said. Two other parked vehicles were damaged in the crash.

A blood test revealed that Hoffman had a .16 percent blood-alcohol level, which is twice the legal limit to drive in Pennsylvania, police said.

The terms of Hoffman’s rehabilitative disposition include six months of probation, loss of his driver’s license for 60 days, mandatory attendance at alcohol highway safety classes, continued alcohol treatment and 25 hours of community service, according to The Morning Call.

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