Hearing for Shippenville Man Accused of DUI, Child Endangerment Set for Today
According to court documents, a preliminary hearing for 24-year-old Austin Michael Morrison is scheduled for Tuesday, June 14, at 9:30 a.m. in front of Magisterial District Judge Timothy P. Schill on the following charges:
– Endangering Welfare of Children – Parent/Guardian/Other Commits Offense, Felony 3 (two counts)
– Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol/Controlled Substance, Misdemeanor (three counts)
– Failure to Carry Registration, Summary
– Careless Driving, Summary
Details of the case:
According to a criminal complaint filed in Magisterial District Judge Timothy P. Schill’s office, around 9:10 p.m. on September 11, 2021, Punxsutawney-based State Police Troopers were traveling west on State Route 322, near Humane Way in Paint Township directly behind a 2001 Jeep Cherokee.
A Pa. registration check came back with the driver listed as Austin Michael Morrison.
Troopers observed Morrison’s vehicle “weaving within the lane, as well as drifting over the fog line lane designator three separate times,” the complaint states.
The vehicle had crossed over the lane designator significantly the third time to the extent that three-fourths of the vehicle was traveling on the shoulder of the roadway, the complaint notes.
Troopers then made a traffic stop, and upon making contact with the driver – Morrison, they observed Morrison, as well as two juvenile passengers in the rear seating area.
The trooper observed Morrison’s hands “visibly shaking,” and one of the troopers inquired where he was coming from. Morrison told the trooper he was coming from a convenience store to get “rolling papers,” the complaint indicates.
He then, without provocation, informed the trooper that he had his medical marijuana card, the complaint states.
The trooper pointed out that rolling joints with medical marijuana was not an approved method of consumption, and Morrison acknowledged he was aware of that, according to the complaint.
The trooper observed multiple physical indicators that Morrison may have been under the influence of marijuana and began to perform a series of field sobriety tests, the complaint continues.
According to the complaint, Morrison’s behavior prior to the field sobriety tests was cooperative and indifferent, for the most part; however, he displayed mood swings and became angry, uncooperative, and argumentative as this incident developed.
The trooper confronted Morrison about when he had last smoked (marijuana), and he denied having smoked since the previous night. As the trooper and Morrison continued to engage in conversation, Morrison reportedly admitted to being prescribed Suboxone, which is a substance classified as a narcotic analgesic, according to the complaint.
Morrison was placed under arrest for suspicion of DUI and was transported to the Clarion Hospital to conduct a series of blood tests.
NMS Labs issued a toxicology report detailing the following positive findings in the blood of Morrison:
– Delta-9 Carboxy THC (21 +/- 6 ng/mL)
– Delta-9 THC (1.2 +/- 0.4 ng/mL)
– Buprenorphine – Free (1.3+/- 0.4 ng/mL)
– Norbuprenorphine – Free (0.97 +/- 0.30 ng/ml)
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