Indianapolis, IN-In some police departments, a DUI arrests has little impact; an officer may face minimal discipline but in Indiana, law enforcement officers could lose their jobs. That is exactly happened to one Marion County Sargent after he was arrested for drunken driving on the Fourth of July.
Alan F. Jones, a five-year veteran of the Marion County Sheriff’s Department was not only drunk, he was downright insulted he was being pulled over and questioned.
Jones was driving an unmarked patrol car on Pennsylvania Ave. at 11:40 p.m. near the Indianapolis police department when he was pulled over one of his fellow officers, Indystar online reported.
Jones admitted he had “several drinks” before he was asked to submit to a field sobriety test. That apparently angered Jones, he replied, “Forty-two years in law enforcement, this is (expletive),” Fox 59 reported.
The original officers reported noted that Jones failed four out of six tests and called in another officer to conduct a breathalyzer test. Jones’s blood alcohol level was .13, above Indiana’s limit of .08.
This too upset Jones, and he attempted to get out of the charge by reminding the Lieutenant how long they have known each other and asked, “How about you just let my wife drive home?”
It appears that the Indianapolis police can’t be accused of giving officers preferential treatment since they arrested Jones and charged him with driving under the influence.
In a statement following the Sergeant’s arrest and resulting termination, Sheriff John Layton said, “All of our Deputies are bound to obey the law like any other citizen. We have zero tolerance for lawbreakers of all types. Although Jones had been a good officer, there is no excuse for violating the law. I thank the IMPD Officers for getting Jones off the road without incident.”
Fox 59 reported that Jones’s personnel file did not show any previous disciplinary action during his forty-two year career.
If Jones was in a different city he might not have lost his job. He likely made his situation worse by driving drunk in a city-owned vehicle. Some law enforcement agencies merely discipline their officers after they receive a driving under the influence charge. They may have to take an administrative leave or desk duty until their case is resolved. Even if an officer is convicted, many agencies will allow them to keep their jobs, but it could make it harder for them to apply for higher positions or different forces.
When it comes to officers who are charged with DUI, it is up to the discretion of the police force you join. Some take a hard-line to drunken driving and other more minor criminal offenses and won’t allow any of their officers to make that sort of mistake, others however are more lenient.
A DUI can also affect people who don’t work in law enforcement. If a person drives for a living or relies on their vehicle to carry out their jobs, a DUI charge since they usually entail the loss of driving privileges can have a serious impact on a person’s life. Most people cannot afford to lose their jobs, especially when they are going to need money to fund their legal defense.