A WPXI weatherman faces charges after a test of his blood allegedly showed he was driving with a level of alcohol in his system of nearly four times the legal limit.
State police filed counts of driving under the influence against Kevin M. Benson, 60, of Cecil Township following a Sept. 20 stop on Interstate 70 in South Strabane Township.
Benson’s biography on the WPXI website said he’s been with the station since 1987. He began his career in radio.
A state trooper wrote in court papers that he was on patrol on the interstate when he received a report about a blue 2012 Ford Taurus piloted by an “erratic driver” on Interstate 79 north. The trooper went on to identify the car and pull it over a little before 4 p.m., after the driver had exited I-79 and started driving west on I-70.
The driver, who was identified as Benson, reportedly smelled of alcohol, had eyes that appeared glassy and bloodshot and slurred speech. He initially claimed not to have been drinking and that he’d been at Jefferson Hospital to visit his wife.
He finally admitted to having consumed a glass of wine at a restaurant lunch, the trooper wrote. The trooper drove Benson to Washington Hospital for a blood draw that was done about an hour after the stop.
The results allegedly showed a blood-alcohol level of 0.311%. The legal limit to drive a car is 0.08%.
Benson’s blood purportedly was also positive for a cocaine metabolite.
State police filed the charges Oct. 9. Court records didn’t show an attorney or date for the next proceeding.
Benson didn’t return messages requesting comment on the allegations.
WPXI news director Scott Trabandt said he couldn’t discuss the situation.
“As part of station policy, we don’t comment on personnel matters,” Trabandt said.