Ex-Coughlin teacher gets house arrest for fifth DUI

By Patrick Kernan - [email protected]
Hampel -

WILKES-BARRE — A former Coughlin High School teacher will be spending a month on house arrest after he pleaded guilty to his fifth DUI charge since 2002.

Brian Hampel, 48, made headlines after he was fired by the Wilkes-Barre Area School District in 2016 when he was accused of acting as a lookout during former Coughlin administrator Stephen Stahl’s sexual encounters with a 16-year-old student.

Hampel’s most recent DUI charge comes after the Sweet Valley man was stopped by Harveys Lake police when he failed to obey a stop sign just after 1 a.m. Feb. 4. He allegedly had a .245 percent blood-alcohol content, three times the driving limit of .08.

Court records show Hampel entered a guilty plea in late July on a single count of driving under the influence. Other charges were withdrawn.

Luzerne County Judge Hugh F. Mundy on Wednesday sentenced Hampel to up to six months in the state’s Intermediate Punishment Program, which is designed to keep drug and alcohol offenders out of prison but living under a strict set of rules.

The first 30 days of Hampel’s sentence will be spent under house arrest with electronic monitoring. He was also fined $1,000, and his driver’s license was suspended for a year.

He must complete 15 hours of community service within six months, and he is barred from consuming drugs or alcohol or frequenting bars. In addition, he is subject to random testing.

Hampel was sentenced in June 2005 to 23 months in the Intermediate Punishment Program for a series of DUI offenses in Jackson Township on Jan. 19, 2004, Dallas on Oct. 14, 2004, and again in Dallas on Dec. 31, 2004.

He also had a previous offense in Dallas Township on Oct. 1, 2002. He was allowed to enter the ARD probation program for that offense.

Hampel was employed as a shop teacher at Coughlin for 18 years before he was fired in 2016 for acting as the lookout in Stahl’s case. He was convicted, serving just over the minimum of a six- to 23-month term.

He also faced additional charges of corruption of minors when he was accused of groping a Coughlin student at a house party in Bear Creek sometime between 2003 and 2005.

That charge was dismissed by Luzerne County Judge Michael T. Vough in May 2017 for a lack of evidence.

Hampel has a federal lawsuit pending against the Luzerne County District Attorney’s office, claiming malicious prosecution.


By Patrick Kernan

[email protected]

Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan

Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan