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Police officer charged with drunk driving

Every Pennsylvania driver must follow the law when it comes to impaired driving. Essentially, anyone operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 and above can be charged with a misdemeanor. The law applies to everyone, even police officers. So there is a sense of irony when a police officer is charged with a DUI.

According to a WTRF.com report, a police officer in Palmer Township was arrested recently on suspicion of driving under the influence after an accident left her injured. According to police reports, the officer lost control of her car and crashed into a tree. The officer was apparently off-duty and was driving her own personal vehicle.

Police also report that when she was removed from her vehicle, the officer had glassy eyes, was slurring her words and smelled of alcohol. A breathalyzer test reportedly revealed that she had a BAC of .32, which is four times the legal limit.

The officer is on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation. It is unclear at this point whether she will be subject to discipline or what the extent of it will be. Officers in these situations could be suspended, issued an official reprimand, or be terminated. This, of course, depends on the officer's professional history. While it is uncommon for officers to have drunk driving charges, it does happen.

The story also underscores that fact that while police officers are charged with enforcing state law, they have the same protections that other people charged with drunk driving are entitled to.

Source: WTRF.com, Veteran Pa. officer charged with DUI after crash, November 29, 2012

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Gregory R. Gifford
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