A former Bangor High School boys varsity basketball coach pleaded guilty Wednesday in Newport District Court to driving drunk last month.
Carl Parker, 66, of Bangor was ordered to pay the mandatory minimum $500 fine and participate in an alternative-to-jail program later this year, said his attorney, Josh Tardy of Newport. In addition, his driver’s license was suspended for 150 days.
“Mr. Parker felt it was important to own this and important to accept responsibility at the earliest possible time in the legal process,” Tardy said.
Defendants most often plead not guilty at their arraignments.
The longtime coach was returning home on Feb. 10 from a Class AA North coaches meeting in Lewiston, he told the BDN last month. Parker was driving northbound on Interstate 95 in Etna when he attempted to pass another vehicle, hit black ice and slid off the highway.
His car landed on the passenger side but Parker was not injured. Maine State Police responded to the accident and charged him with operating under the influence of intoxicants.
Parker’s blood alcohol level was .16 percent, twice the legal limit of .08 percent, Mark Rucci, assistant district attorney for Penobscot County, said Tuesday.
Parker resigned from his coaching position in Bangor two days after he was charged.
Because this was Parker’s first OUI conviction and his blood alcohol level was above .15 percent, he qualified for the alternative sentencing program rather than having to serve the mandatory 48 hours in jail.
The Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office holds the program several times a year, over a weekend. Held most often at a school, it includes more than six hours of discussion about alcohol and substance abuse with licensed counselors, community service, and no contact with family or friends. The men and women participants sleep at the schools in separate rooms on cots.
In addition to Bangor, Parker’s coaching resume included subsequent varsity stops at Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield and Nokomis Regional High School in Newport, where he also served as athletic administrator.
He also was an assistant coach with the former MCI postgraduate program and head coach of Lee Academy’s postgraduate team.