Okla. State Senator arrested for DWI in Howe

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HOWE, TX -- The Howe Police Chief tells News 12 Oklahoma State Senator Harry Coates was arrested for driving while intoxicated.

He says officers pulled Coates over when he was driving southbound on US Highway 75 and he appeared to be too intoxicated for field sobriety tests.

Howe Police Chief, Carl Hudman, says a motorist called authorities Thursday night stating that a suspected intoxicated driver was going southbound on US 75 leaving Sherman.

Hudman says that driver was Oklahoma State Senator Harry Coates of District 28.

"Our officers sat up and ending up getting behind a vehicle that was having difficulty maintaining a single lane," Hudman said.

Hudman says Coates was pulled over around 11 PM on Highway 75 near Farmington Road.

He says when officers pulled Coates over he couldn't maintain his balance.

"He was very cooperative from my understanding," Hudman said. "He had extreme difficulty with sobriety testing so that was not completed."

Hudman says Coates was the only person in the vehicle and was possibly heading to Dallas.

"The officers reported that there was evidence of intoxication and that the Senator consented to a blood draw," said Hudman. "He was taken to a local hospital where that was conducted, and then booked into the Grayson County Jail."

Hudman says it wasn't until after Coates was booked that officers realized who he was.

Hudman says Coates told officers it was his last day in office.

News 12 contacted the Oklahoma State Election Board who told us he is still in office.

Coates faces a driving while intoxicated charge and bonded out of jail early this morning.

Howe police are awaiting blood test results.

News 12 contacted Senator Coates' office for a comment, but they did not return our calls.

In 2009, he filed SB 1014, a bill designed to increase the penalties for drunk driving in the state of Oklahoma.

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