Boalsburg man faces up to 6 months in Centre County jail after 5th DUI conviction

mcarroll@centredaily.comOctober 18, 2013 

A 50-year-old Boalsburg man will serve up to six months in county jail for driving under the influence in what is his fifth lifetime conviction on DUI charges, prosecutors say.

Robert Reitz was sentenced Thursday to spend 60 days to six months in the Centre County Correctional Facility on charges that he was driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.30, almost four times the legal limit.

Centre County President Judge Thomas King Kistler handed down the sentence.

Prosecutors said that Reitz was driving on North Church Street in Boalsburg on March 10 when his truck broke down. He approached a witness, pounded on the hood of the man’s vehicle and demanded a tow.

The witness explained his vehicle was not a tow truck and suggested calling police, to which Reitz responded, “no cops,” prosecutors said.

Two State College police officers who happened to be in the area came across the scene and discovered Reitz to be intoxicated.

Prosecutors said they asked for the maximum penalty in the case, which they said was three months to six months in county jail, due to the man’s repeat offenses.

“At some point, the sentence for serial DUIs in Pennsylvania feels totally inadequate if they are spread out,” District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said in a statement. “He should have received a larger overall sentence, (but) we are limited by the sentencing guidelines.”

His attorney, public defender Deborah Lux, could not be reached for comment immediately Friday evening.

Since his March arrest, Reitz has again been charged with DUI, according to court documents. The newest case stems from a July incident in Centre County.

Reitz waived his right to a preliminary hearing in that case in September and is awaiting formal arraignment later this month in county court, the documents show.

The man was previously acquitted by a Centre County jury on vehicular homicide and DUI charges after a 2008 one-car accident in which his father was killed.

In question was whether it was Reitz or his father driving the elder Reitz’s Ford F-150 truck on state Route 144 when it crashed around 10 p.m. April 9, 2008.

It was nine hours before anyone noticed the crash and found the younger Reitz bleeding by the side of the road and his father dead in the passenger seat.

The delay led to difficulties obtaining evidence, prosecutors said at the time.

The police investigation concluded that Reitz’s blood alcohol level was between 0.289 and 0.343 percent when the crash happened.

The jury deliberated for about two hours before finding Reitz not guilty of all charges in the case.

Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter.

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