An Oklahoma Highway Patrol state trooper was arrested for DUI last week. To make matters worse, he was on duty at the time of his drunk driving arrest.
State troopers responding to a single-car accident discovered a marked OHP patrol vehicle towing a patrol boat involved in a wreck. Trooper Joshua Eli Davies, 33, reportedly told responding OHP troopers that he was fine, but tried to keep his distance from them. A report indicates that troopers noticed the smell of alcohol and saw Davies exhibiting signs of intoxication, sweating profusely, and chain smoking.
Davies allegedly admitted to drinking, but initially told responding troopers that he began drinking after the accident, which caused minor damage to the patrol unit, but totaled the OHP boat. Later, reports say, the trooper admitted that he had been drinking since the previous night and continued throughout the day.
OHP administered a breath test and arrested Davies, whose breath test indicated a BAC more than three times the legal limit.
Upon arrest, troopers say, their fellow law enforcement officer became alternately despondent and combative. According to a report in the Tulsa World, Davies threatened suicide, saying he would kill himself rather than being arrested for DUI and taken to the county jail. Next, he tried to flee the scene, having to be tackled and restrained by his fellow troopers.
Rather than being taken to Sequoyah County Jail, where a law officer would likely face significant threat to his or her safety, Davies was taken to the city jail in Sallisaw. He was held on $4,000 bond but released for a court-ordered mental health evaluation.
Davies is charged with misdemeanor DUI in Sequoyah County, and he has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal OHP investigation.
While a DUI conviction can certainly have serious consequences, perhaps the most collateral damage the trooper faces is to his career. An eight-year veteran of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Davies likely considered law enforcement to be his lifelong career. Now, an on-duty DUI is likely to put an end to that.
The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office reports that there were nearly 4,300 alcohol-involved crashes in 2012, representing just over 6 percent of all motor vehicle accidents in the state. Despite comprising a relatively low percentage of all crashes, DUI accidents account for more than a third of the state's fatal traffic accidents. That year, 2,892 people were injured in alcohol-involved wrecks and 261 people died in fatal drunk driving accident on Oklahoma roads.
Image Credit: Josh Hallett
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