James Schlener, Photo courtesy of Express-Times
If James Schlener doesn’t kill you on the highway, will he be sober enough to put your fire out?
A Bethlehem firefighter and former union official was charged Thursday night with drunken driving at the highest rate of intoxication, city police report.
James Schlener, 41, of the 600 block of Second Avenue, was arrested at 10:55 p.m. Thursday after he struck a utility pole while driving in the 1000 block of Eighth Avenue, police said.
Schlener’s blood-alcohol content was 0.256, more than triple the 0.08 threshold for penalties for most drivers, police said.
His vehicle, a 2011 Jeep Wrangler, sustained heavy front-end damage, police said. Both the Route 378 North on-ramp and one of the off-ramps at Eighth Avenue were closed more than 12 hours because of the crash.
Bethlehem officials today suspended Schlener with pay, said Joe Kelly, Bethlehem’s community and economic development director, who often acts as the city spokesman. Kelly did not know Schlener’s salary; Bethlehem Human Resources Director Kathleen Garman was not immediately available. ….MORE