Kimberly Coates, 53, a third-grade teacher in Oklahoma, was arrested on Aug. 17 amidst concerns of her being intoxicated during school hours.
These suspicions were raised after she was found with a blood alcohol concentration of .24, which is three times over the state’s legal driving limit of .08.
The event was reported around 3:20 p.m., when school resource officer Shane Dean, in collaboration with Perkins-Tryon School Superintendent Doug Ogle, approached Coates about her condition. In response to these claims, the Perkins-Tyron Public School District stated, “The district’s primary focus remains on maintaining a safe learning environment for its students. We are currently cooperating with law enforcement and have launched an internal investigation.”
Evidence from the officer’s body camera showed Coates admitting to drinking until 3 a.m. the night prior and even consuming alcohol en route to school. Additionally, an unexplained cup containing a red liquid, suspected to be wine, was found in her classroom, the Stillwater News Press reported.
The preliminary breath test Coates underwent is typically used by police to ascertain if there’s substantial evidence for a DWI charge. With this incident occurring on the first day of school, concerns about student safety and staff professionalism have been spotlighted in the community. Further details and outcomes of the investigation are expected in the coming days.