Trooper to Fight for Job After 2nd Drunk-Driving Charge
COLUMBUS (Lisa Rantala/WSYX) -- An Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper says he plans to fight for his job after sustaining a second drunk-driving charge led to his termination last week. Police cited Jeremy Garner on February 16 in the Short North after he left Skully's Bar on North High Street.
Officers said Garner hit two parked cars, refused to submit to field sobriety tests and blew a breath-alcohol level over three times the legal limit. Garner's attorney told ABC 6/FOX 28 that he's working on a plea deal for the next court hearing set for May.
Before that, Highway Patrol conducted it's own internal investigation and found Garner guilty of conduct unbecoming an officer. The investigative report states Garner went to Skully's to watch another Trooper play in a Christian music band and admitted to having four rum and coke drinks while at the bar. He also admitted to drinking one vodka and Red Bull beverage before arriving at the venue, according to the report.
Other Troopers told investigators they knew Garner was starting to feel the effects of the alcohol. One Trooper said, ".. Everyone knew Trooper Garner liked to drink, but no one knew to what degree until that evening."
The reports states that several co-workers offered to give Garner a ride home. One of them stated, ".. Trooper Garner was refusing to get into his vehicle and the situation was becoming hostile."
A sergeant who was aware of Garner's refusal, called him to tell him to take the ride. He told investigators that Garner "hung up on him."
A prior drunk-driving conviction caused Garner to lose his license for six months in 2007; but, he kept his job then.
Garner's attorney says his client is currently seeking treatment for alcohol addiction and could lose his license for up to five years with this most recent charge.
The Ohio State Troopers Association did not return phone calls regarding Garner's possible appeal.