Teenager Admits To Having Physical Control Of Car While Drunk
Police say teen got drunk, drove and crashed into neighbors' parked cars.
A Mentor teenager pleaded guilty to a charge of having physical control of a car while under the influence Monday afternoon in Mentor Municipal Court.
Nicholas Bednarcik, 19, was arrested in April after he was accused of crashing into his neighbors' parked cars while driving drunk.
He was initially charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated but pleaded, instead, to physical control.
Both charges are first-degree misdemeanors but a conviction for physical control doesn't put any points on Bednarcik's license.
Judge John Trebets sentenced Bednarcik to 90 days in jail. However, Bednarcik can avoid spending any time behind bars, if he follows the judge's instructions and stays out of any additional legal trouble.
Trebets suspended 85 of those days. He also said he would waive three of the remaining days if Bednarcik completed a driver's intervention course, which he did, and two days if Bednarcik performed two days' worth of community service.
Trebets also suspended Bednarcik's license for six months with limited privileges, fined him $675, ordered him to participate in chemical abuse and driver's awareness courses, and put him on probation for a year.
In April, Bednarcik drank a bottle of wine and decided to go for a drive around his neighborhood at about 3:49 a.m., Mentor Police Lt. Ken Zbiegien said at the time of his arrest.
Bednarcik, who does not have a driver's license, took a family member's Ford Taurus. While driving on Grovewood Drive, he lost control of the car while trying to make a turn, Zbiegien said.
Bednarcik would later tell police that he was going about 60 mph on the side street.
The Taurus drove across a yard on the 8000 block of Grovewood Drive, damaged four cars that were parked in a neighbors' driveway -- one of them seriously -- and flipped, Zbiegien said.
Bednarcik left the crash scene to tell the Taurus's owner about it. When he came back, police were there.
Bednarcik had some injuries so paramedics took him to the hospital to be treated. While there, he agreed to give a blood sample so it could be tested for alcohol.
In addition to driving drunken, Bednarcik was charged with reckless operation of a car, driving without a license and failure to control his vehicle. Those charges were later dropped as part of his plea bargain.