Sandpoint High School’s head football coach was arrested on suspicion of DUI on Jan. 14, four days before stepping down from his position with the school citing personal reasons.
George Yarno Jr. reportedly had a blood alcohol level of 0.198, over twice the legal limit.
Police say Yarno, 33, was headed northbound on U.S. 95 around 11 p.m. when he nearly struck a Ponderay Police vehicle parked on the side the highway. The officer ran back into this vehicle and gave chase, the police report said. Yarno continued to drive for about a half-mile until pulling into a Taco Bell parking lot.
The officer stepped out of his vehicle and stood behind its door, gun drawn and pointed at the ground. He ordered “several times” for Yarno to turn off his engine.
Yarno exited the vehicle, the police report said. He followed the officer’s orders and was handcuffed without incident. He reportedly failed a field sobriety test and was booked into Bonner County jail.
He pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor DUI charge on Jan. 16. A jury trial is scheduled for March 22.
When reached by the Spokesman-Review for comment on the alleged offense, Yarno declined comment.
Yarno, a former Moscow High student, was arrested on suspicion of DUI in 2003 in Latah County, but the charge was later amended to minor in consumption of alcohol.
Yarno served as Sandpoint’s head football coach the last two season. He is the son of late NFL player and coach George Yarno Sr.
After resigning as Sandpoint’s coach in January 18, he told the Bonner Daily Bee he wanted more time to focus on family. The newspaper also reported Jan. 19 that Yarno will remain a P.E. teacher at Sandpoint.
“Some personal and family matters in life that need more attention than I can give if I’m the head football coach,” said Yarno told the Sandpoint newspaper. “The kids and community deserve more attention than I can give at this point.