A drama and speech teacher employed at a local school district was charged Tuesday in district court with driving under the influence.
Brian Lane Gunter, 40, was arrested after midnight Tuesday during a traffic stop in the 2000 block of South Commerce Street. An Ardmore police officer observed Gunter’s vehicle pull into traffic and run over the center median. He was transported to the Carter County Detention Center and booked on a complaint of driving under the influence, according to police records.
The district attorney’s office filed the charge of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol against Gunter later that day. Court documents indicate the Overbrook resident had a blood alcohol content of .15 or higher. The legal limit is .08, and under state law, a driver can be charged with aggravated driving under the influence when a test shows .15 or greater.
He pleaded not guilty on the misdemeanor charge at an initial court appearance Tuesday, and has bonded out of jail.
Gunter was hired as the drama and speech teacher for Ardmore High School at the Ardmore Board of Education meeting in July. He comes to the district previously teaching at the Mesquite, Texas, and Lone Grove school districts.
Ardmore City Schools Superintendent Sonny Bates confirmed Wednesday afternoon the district was aware of the arrest and charge. He stated that a meeting is scheduled for Gunter to review what happened with district administration.
Right now, the district is focused on gathering all the facts to the case, Bates said.
“We will find out what all the information is and we will discipline accordingly,” Bates said. “It is unfortunate, but it is something we do have to address as a personnel matter, and that is what we are going to do.”
Bates said there is no school policy that addresses an employee’s use of a district-owned vehicle while a driving charge continues through the court system. Administrators, teachers and coaches often have access to school vans to transport students to an event or game.
Bates emphasized that student safety is a top priority at the district, and certain circumstances would cause for the district to review an employee’s use of a district vehicle.
Gunter’s attorney is Fred Collins, who had no comment. Gunter is set to appear in district court on Sept. 9.