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Motorist who almost hit Hamburg police car charged with DWI

A motorist who almost collided head-on with a Hamburg police patrol car was charged with driving while intoxicated, town police reported Monday.

The officer was driving west on Big Tree Road at about 10 p.m. Saturday when an eastbound car crossed the center line and almost collided with the patrol car, according to police. After swerving to avoid a collision, the officer made a U-turn and followed the car, stopping it near 4028 Big Tree Road.

The motorist, Lawrence E. Lauber, 44, of Hamburg, told the officer he had swerved to avoid a pothole in the road.

After failing field sobriety tests, Lauber was taken into custody, said police, who noted that he twice refused to perform a breath test.

Because Lauber had been convicted of DWI in 2008, the charge against him Saturday was upgraded to a felony. He also was cited for failure to keep right and refusal to take a breath test.

Police said Lauber’s car was impounded and he was released to the custody of his fiancée, pending an April 9 court appearance.