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Oklahoma state Sen. Harry Coates formally charged with DWI in Texas

Harry Edward Coates, 63, R-Seminole, was charged July 7 following a May 15 arrest in northern Texas, according to online court records.
by Kyle Fredrickson Published: July 14, 2014

An Oklahoma state senator jailed in May on a driving while intoxicated complaint has been formally charged with a misdemeanor in Grayson County, Texas, court.

Harry Edward Coates, 64, R-Seminole, was charged July 7 following a May 15 arrest in Howe, Texas, about 40 miles south of Durant. Coates has a preliminary hearing scheduled Sept. 5, according to online court records.

“We are looking forward to reviewing all of the discovery in this case,” said Coates’ attorney John Hunter Smith. “And determining how we are going to resolve this case in the near future.”

Coates was pulled over about 11 p.m. the night of the arrest on southbound U.S. 75 near Farmington Road. A motorist reported Coates driving erratically, according to the arrest report and a statement posted on the Howe Police Department’s Facebook page.

Coates showed signs of intoxication, struggled to maintain balance and was unable to complete field sobriety testing. He consented to have blood drawn at a local hospital, police said.

Coates was booked into the Grayson County jail and released the next day on $1,500 bail, police said.

Coates has represented District 28, covering all or parts of Lincoln, Oklahoma, Pottawatomie and Seminole counties, since 2002. He is term-limited and will not run for re-election.

In 2009, Coates filed a bill that would have stiffened penalties against those convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances. Senate Bill 1014 also was known as the Brandon Burgett Act, in memory of a relative of Coates’ who was killed by a drunken driver in 2008.

by Kyle Fredrickson
OSU beat writer
Kyle Fredrickson became the Oklahoma State beat writer for The Oklahoman and in July 2014. A native Coloradoan, Fredrickson attended Western State College before transferring to Oklahoma State in 2010 and graduating in 2012. Fredrickson...
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