Third-grade teacher arrested for allegedly being drunk in class on first day of school

A third-grade teacher in Oklahoma was arrested last week after she showed up for work on the first day of school with a blood alcohol level three times over the legal limit, according to the Stillwater News Press.

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Kimberly Coates, 53, was confronted around 3:20 p.m. on Aug. 17 by school resource officer Shane Dean and Perkins-Tryon School Superintendent Doug Ogle over possibly being intoxicated, the City of Perkins said in a statement.

The Perkins-Tyron Public School District released the following statement after her arrest:

“Yesterday around 3 p.m., Superintendent Doug Ogle was made aware of a possible situation involving a staff member. The district immediately contacted the Perkins Police Department, whose officers are overseeing the investigation. The school district is conducting an internal investigation and cooperating with law enforcement.

“The district’s number one priority is to provide a safe learning environment for students. Because this is a personnel issue, the district is unable to share additional information at this time.”

Officer-worn bodycam footage from the Perkins Police Department showed Coates interacting with Ogle, explaining that she had taken medicine for anxiety the night before. When asked what she took, Coates could not name the medication.

The teacher then agreed to take a breath test to determine her blood alcohol concentration. According to officials, the results of the breath test showed a blood alcohol concentration of .24, which is three times Oklahoma’s legal limit of .08.

A cup was found in Coates’ classroom with a red liquid in it, according to the News Press. Coates said the liquid was “my juice,” body camera footage obtained by KFOR shows.

“Want to try that again? That there is wine,” the school resource officer told Coates.

The teacher told the officer she drank out of the cup the day before and not during class that day, according to the News Press.

Coates admitted to drinking “half a box of wine” until 3 a.m. the night before the first day of school, Law and Crime reported.

She later said she drank on the way to work, according to the body camera footage.

The test Coates took is called a preliminary breath test. According to the U.S. Justice Department, “the PBT is an objective roadside blood alcohol content (BAC) chemical test. PBT laws permit police to administer such a test before arresting a driver to determine if there is sufficient evidence for a DWI charge.”

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