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Police say man displayed handgun while driving

By Joe Beck

A Front Royal man was arrested and charged with carrying a concealed handgun while under the influence of alcohol Thursday afternoon after police stopped his pickup truck on Commerce Avenue.

Police said they arrested John F. Ohlinger, 61, of 237 Church St., after taking a report from a driver on Interstate 66 who said she was following a pickup truck driven by a man who had displayed a handgun.

Police Chief Norman Shiflett said Front Royal Police Cpl. Steve Mauck spotted the pickup traveling on Commerce Avenue and stopped it.

Shiflett said Mauck detected an alcoholic odor on Ohlinger, although subsequent testing showed his blood alcohol level below the legal limit of 0.08 used in drunk driving cases.

Shiflett said state law prohibits anyone from carrying a concealed handgun while under the influence of alcohol, even if the suspect's blood alcohol reading is less than .08. Shiflett said road rage did not appear to be a factor in the incident.

Shiflett said Ohlinger told police he had purchased the handgun "a little while ago and he was holding it up to look at it."

"I wouldn't say he was drunk," Shiflett added, "but he had consumed alcohol, probably enough to impair his judgment and hold up a handgun while he's driving and letting another driver see it."

Shiflett said Ohlinger was taken to the magistrate's office and later released from custody on a $3,500 unsecured bond.


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