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West Manheim Township's retired police chief has been accepted into a diversionary program that, if successfully completed, will allow him to avoid conviction on a drunken driving charge.

Tim Hippensteel, 56, of Heidelberg Township, was accepted into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program when he appeared in York County Court on Tuesday, Oct. 1, according to court records.

Defendants don't have to admit guilt to be part of the ARD program.

ARD requires participants to complete a set of court-ordered requirements, including taking classes, performing community service, participating in a victim-impact panel and paying court fees.

Participant who successfully complete ARD can then petition the court to expunge their cases.

Hippensteel was chief of West Manheim Township Police from 2006 until retiring in June 2018. He initially was hired as a patrol officer by the township in June 1988, he previously told The York Dispatch.

Well-known chief: A much-loved figure in his community, Hippensteel directed bus traffic in front of West Manheim Elementary nearly every day, parents said.

He personally investigated crimes and said his policing philosophy was that he should treat everyone the way he'd want his family members to be treated.

More: West Manheim Twp. says goodbye to retired police chief

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Charging documents filed March 14 by Penn Township Police allege Hippensteel was driving east in the 900 block of York Street in the township about 12:45 a.m. Feb. 23.

A Penn Township officer following him watched Hippensteel cross the center line more than once and nearly hit an oncoming vehicle, charging documents allege.

Hippensteel was traveling 22 mph at the time, documents state.

A test later determined his blood-alcohol level to be 0.259%, which is more than three times the state's legal limit. In Pennsylvania, an adult is driving drunk at 0.08 percent.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.

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