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Off-duty officer quits job after breathalyzer test

When an individual is arrested and facing drug or alcohol related charges the subsequent consequences can be serious. Some people may be facing fines or jail time while others' jobs may be on the line if he or she is convicted. Finding a DUI/DWI defense attorney to review the evidence can not only bring peace of mind but also protect an individual's rights and future.

A corporal in a South Carolina sheriff's department resigned from his job after a blood-alcohol test reading showed he was legally drunk while driving his department-issued cruiser, though he has not yet been charged with DUI.

The events unfolded early one morning when a sheriff's deputy spotted the police cruiser parked in the middle of a lane on Highway 521 in Sumter County. When the approaching deputy blared the siren, the man pulled over.

By this time, another deputy had arrived on the scene, and as the two approached the idle police car, they identified the driver as a colleague. He told the deputies he was returning from a training class and did not know he was parked in the road. He said he had not been drinking.

While the deputies did not smell alcohol, based on what they considered unusual behavior, they concurred that the off-duty officer should not be driving. A supervisor came to the scene, spoke with the man and then called in two state troopers to administer a field-sobriety test. According to reports, the man again denied drinking, but the troopers reported that they did detect the smell of alcohol on his breath.

After the field-sobriety test, the troopers reported the man was not to impaired to drive, leaving him to the sheriff's department. Based on the field test, they said they did not have enough evidence to arrest him. The sheriff's department transported him to the Sumter Police Department for a blood-alcohol test, which reports show registered 0.15 percent, or about twice the legal limit.

Since two of the law-enforcement officials did not believe that the man too drunk to drive, the off-duty officer may want to consider challenging the results of the breathalyzer test. It is possible that the results of the test were inaccurate, and sometimes, there is no substitute for human judgment.

Source: WISTV, "Deputy driving cruiser with BAC of .15 not charged," Jason Old and Jody Barr, Sept. 11, 2012

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