The Reno police sergeant found guilty of a DUI violation last week is back on the road again; in record time too. How did this happen? All fingers are pointing at the high handedness of the Reno PD, and eyebrows have been raised at their apparent reluctance to punish one of their own. But there may just be another story lurking behind the seemingly unjust move.

Team work

According to DUI attorneys in the Reno Justice Court, the DUI offender sergeant was given the minimum penalty under Nevada law for his violation―that of a fine of $400, and 48 hours of community service. And the police sergeant had a stroke of good luck too. The Sparks police officer investigating his case did not appear at the administrative hearing in August at the Department of Motor Vehicles, and due to this Sgt. Paul Sevcsik’s license revocation was rescinded.

No preferential treatment, says attorney

Sevcsik ‘s DUI attorney Mr. Ken Stover said that there has been no preferential treatment for his client. The Judge, according to Mr. Stover, imposed the ‘statutory standard’. Sgt. Sevcsik ended up paying $285 in fees and assessments apart from the court imposed fine of $400, and also had to attend 8 hours of DUI school and a victim-impact panel before he was let loose on the Reno streets. As per his DUI attorney, this is the punishment anyone else would get under the same circumstances.

However, it is not all firecrackers and celebrations for Mr. Sevcsik yet. His license could still be revoked once the judgment of conviction reaches the DMV and the criminal route is taken. So all those berating the Reno PD for their callousness can take heart – he hasn’t yet beaten a license revocation completely.

It sounds like something fishy is going on around here. Hypocrisy perhaps.

A stroke of luck

Sevcsik’s arrest was made on June 21st, and forty five days later he applied and obtained a restricted license to drive to work. His hearing was scheduled for August 26th but officer Yeadon Sturtevant, who was investigating the case, was away on leave and hence unaware of the scheduling. Sparks Deputy Police Chief Brian Miller has said that Sturtevant’s four-week annual leave started from August 11th and he’ll be back on September 12th.

Chief Miller has called the incident ‘unfortunate’ but denies any wrongdoing as the scheduling for the hearing happened after Officer Sturtevant had left for his vacation. He was however present for Sevcsik’s trial in Reno Justice Court when the latter was awarded the court fine and community service orders. On September 3rd, Sevcsik was returned his driver’s license and since his trial completed last week in the Reno justice Court, he is now back in full form as an officer of the law.

Before receiving his license, Sevcsik was on desk duty and drove his bike to work and meetings before he could get his restricted license. According to the DUI attorneys, Sevcsik has followed every letter of the law since his arrest and done what he was supposed to do under the circumstances. He must be well liked.