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‘That there is wine’: Bodycam footage shows awkward moments as allegedly intoxicated teacher tries to explain away her heavy drinking on first day of school

Kimberly Coates appears in body-worn camera footage and a mugshot from August 2023.

Kimberly Coates appears in body-worn camera footage and a mugshot, inset on the left, from August 2023. (Perkins Police Department)

“You seem like you’re not the same person I talked to this morning,” a school superintendent told a third grade teacher who allegedly had more than enough to drink during an intervening period – possibly while on the job – and on the first day of school at that.

Kimberly Coates, 53, stands accused of one count of public intoxication over the booze-fueled incident that occurred in Oklahoma on Thursday, Aug. 17, according to the Perkins Police Department.

Described as “off” and “acting weird” by administration, law enforcement quickly arrived to deal with the admitted heavy drinker. Coates allegedly told police she drank half a box of wine until around 3:00 a.m. earlier that same morning. The school day at Perkins-Tryon Intermediate School starts at 8:25 a.m.

The department released body-worn camera footage documenting some of the interactions between the allegedly intoxicated teacher, her employer, and local law enforcement on Tuesday.

“The school administration contacted our school resource officer,” PPD Sergeant Spencer Gedon said in comments reported by Oklahoma City-based NBC affiliate KFOR last week. “Whenever he got there, he saw some signs that maybe she was impaired.”

In the police report obtained by the Stillwater News Press, the school resource officer writes: “I noticed Kimberly had red, watery eyes and a thick, slurred speech. Kimberly had a hard time completing sentences.”

In the footage obtained by Law&Crime, Coates appears to excuse her allegedly impaired behavior by saying she takes medication for anxiety. Then, she agrees to submit to a type of sobriety test.

The results of the specific test, called a Preliminary Breath Test, considered less accurate than the actual Breathalyzer machine, allegedly showed the teacher had a blood alcohol content of 0.24.

“She blew a 0.24 on the PBT and like for a DUI, the legal limit is 0.08,” Gedon told KFOR.

Kimberly Coates and the results of a sobriety test on the first day of school in Perkins, Okla. in August 2023.

Kimberly Coates and the results of a sobriety test on the first day of school in Perkins, Okla. in August 2023. (Perkins Police Department)

Coates was not driving, however, and she was booked into the Payne County Jail for a relatively minor crime. According to a press release issued by the City of Perkins, she was arrested “on the anticipated District Court charge of Public Intoxication.”

“That’s not just one drink and you’re there,” the sergeant added in comments to local CBS affiliate KWTV. “That’s several drinks.”

According to police, Coates would later admit to drinking late into the night before and the next morning on the way to work – but the defendant insisted she had not actually had anything to drink on school property. The investigation suggested otherwise.

Superintendent Doug Ogle oversaw Coates as she gathered her things. Then he noticed a cup that apparently reeked of booze.

“No more games, right?” Ogle can be heard asking the teacher in the body-worn camera footage. “What is in that?”

To which she replies: “My juice.”

The school resource officer smells the cup and disagrees: “Want to try again? That there is wine.”

The teacher replies that the smell is from earlier.

“Kimberly stated she drank out of that cup yesterday and not today,” the initial police report notes.

But, the officer would write in his initial report, the blue cup still had red liquid in it at the time.

“He determined that she was under the influence of alcohol, and she blew into a PBT and confirmed that she did have alcohol in her system,” Gedon elaborated in comments to local ABC affiliate KOCO. “The school got on it fast. As soon as there was a concern about that teacher, they went into action and did what they needed to do, and they were doing everything they could to make sure everyone was safe at the school.”

The school district later released a statement referring to the “personnel issue” and seeking to assure parents of their children’s safety.

Coates is no longer incarcerated as of this writing. It is unclear if or when formal charges will be filed.

Watch the footage in full below:

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