A Westmoreland County sheriff’s deputy is under fire for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol while off-duty, according to local sources. The deputy was charged with suspected drunk driving by Pennsylvania authorities on May 7, but she has not been suspended from her duties. She continues to work regular hours pending an internal investigation by the police department.
According to the report, the deputy, who holds the rank of corporal, was pulled over by officers around 11:30 p.m. It is not clear from the report why officers pulled her vehicle over, though neighbors say they saw both police and firefighters on the scene at the time. The deputy’s vehicle was the only car involved in the traffic stop.
It was not clarified by the report how officers on the scene came to the determination that the woman was drunk. No mention was made of breath or blood testing to corroborate this suspicion. She is not believed to have been taken into custody at this time. The local sheriff told media outlets that the deputy would remain on the payroll and that her daily duties would not be impacted by the allegations against her.
Drunk driving charges against an officer of the law have potentially career-ending implications. It will be up to Pennsylvania prosecutors to provide compelling evidence that the woman was drunk at the time of the traffic stop, typically including blood or breath evidence to back up this claim. Her defense team will review any such evidence carefully and likely challenge its admissibility before the court.
Source: wpxi.com, “Sheriff’s deputy charged with DUI, won’t be put on leave“, May 7, 2018