Sheriff Bob Gualtieri “laid down the law” this week. The Tampa Bay Times reported the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office now has a stricter policy for any employee charged with DUI – get behind the wheel of a car with a blood alcohol level above the state’s limit of 0.08 and you will be fired. The same policy applies for employees convicted of a DUI in a criminal proceeding. The new change will not affect anyone previously charged with DUIs.
In the past, discipline ranged from a seven day suspension to termination. Gualtieri said law enforcement should be an example to the community. The new policy came about after some recent arrests for drunk driving within the Sheriff’s office.
Last month, a probationary deputy was arrested and charged with a DUI accident after he left a Tampa bar and backed into another car in the parking lot. If that wasn’t enough, an article in our local paper reported the officer showed his badge and told people at the bar he was a deputy. The incident happened just several hours before he was to start his shift at 7 a.m.
Congrats to the Sheriff for showing zero tolerance for anyone who makes a decision to drink and drive and endanger the lives of innocent people on the road!