Penn State official charged with DUI after nearly crashing into police officer

The director of a department within Penn State’s student affairs unit was charged Thursday with drunken driving.

Anna C. Barone, the university’s student care and advocacy director, was charged with two misdemeanor counts of DUI for driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.25%, about three times the state’s limit. Defense lawyer Jason Dunkle declined comment Friday.

“The University is aware of these charges against a staff member and takes these matters seriously,” Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers wrote Thursday in an email to the Centre Daily Times. “As this is a personnel matter, we cannot comment further.”

Barone, 41, of Patton Township, was stopped in December after she crossed the centerline of South Water, Willowbank and West Water streets five times, Spring Township police wrote in an affidavit of probable cause. She nearly crashed into an officer’s patrol vehicle on South Water Street.

She told an officer she left an “apartment party” after having one drink. Barone had glossy eyes, slurred her words, smelled of alcohol and failed field sobriety tests, police wrote.

She had an “unsteady gait” and used the vehicle to help maintain her balance, police wrote. A blood test was completed at Mount Nittany Medical Center.

Barone, who was also charged with a summary traffic violation, was issued a summons. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 3.

Barone has worked for Penn State since at least 2014. She was named student care and advocacy director in March 2017. The department provides resources, support and intervention to students and families during critical situations.