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Drug use has Pa. officer in trouble, DA says

| Wednesday, March 7, 2007

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — A blood test on a police officer after he was involved in a car crash while on duty revealed byproducts of cocaine and marijuana, a prosecutor said Tuesday as he announced criminal charges.

"There is no way to tell how far back in time these substances were ingested. We know it wasn't recent because they're metabolites and not the actual substances," Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. said.

The charges were announced a week after Marlborough Township officials said Michael L. Bramlett, 30, had resigned from the four-man police department. At the time, the township officials did not make clear that it was only byproducts that were found in his blood.

Castor said the byproducts did not impair Bramlett, but said the charge of driving under the influence of a controlled substance could still hold up.

"The law in Pennsylvania is that you are not permitted to operate a motor vehicle under the influence or when you have these metabolites in your blood even if they do not affect the operation of the motor vehicle," Castor said.

Bramlett was arraigned Tuesday and given unsecured bail of $10,000.

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