FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A South Florida deputy has been charged with crashing his unmarked patrol vehicle while off duty and under the influence of alcohol, officials said.
The Broward County deputy was arrested Tuesday at the county's public safety building and charged with two counts of driving under the influence and two counts of reckless driving, according to a sheriff's office news release. He was also suspended without pay.
“It is never ok to drive under the influence or in a reckless manner that puts lives at risk," Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said in a statement. “Too many lives and too many families have been destroyed by such actions. We will make sure that those who break the law, including our own employees, are held to account when they commit crimes.”
According to Broward Sheriff's Office investigators, the deputy was driving his unmarked patrol vehicle on a Pembroke Pines road the morning of May 15 when he rear-ended a compact SUV. He was traveling 71 mph (114 kph) in a 45 mph (72 kph) zone at the time of the crash, officials said.
The SUV left the roadway, struck a tree and rolled onto its roof, investigators said. The victim was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Detectives responding to the crash noted the odor of alcohol on the off-duty deputy's breath, as well as slurred speech.
The deputy was hired by the sheriff's office in 2017.