St. Petersburg police officer Anthony Green has been charged a second time for DUI -- this time passed out behind the wheel.
Green was arrested in 2009, not only for DUI charges but for leaving the scene of a crash with property damage.
Then early Tuesday morning, Green once again found himself behind bars, facing his second DUI charge. Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputies found Green passed out behind the wheel at the intersection of Gulf Boulevard and Madeira Way.
Green was arrested for DUI after refusing a blood alcohol test.
St. Pete Police Chief Anthony Holloway pointed out Green's prior arrest in a Tuesday press conference.
“Everybody makes mistake. First time officer makes a mistake, he or she needs help. The second time there’s something we need to do,” said Holloway.
A look into Green’s personnel file shows that he was suspended for six weeks without pay after the 2009 DUI charge.
“We have an employee assistant program and I believe he did go through that,” said Holloway.
But Holloway says the second DUI has landed Green on administrative leave without pay. It’s a new policy the chief implemented just today, where the department can suspend an officer who is facing criminal charges although the case has not yet come to a conclusion.
“We’re not going to tolerate this at St. Pete PD. Officers are not going to sit around collecting money from taxpayers. He’s going to want to get due process but not going to get paid while getting due process,” said Holloway.
10News WTSP also learned that Green is not the only St. Pete police officer arrested for DUI in the past five years. Green, in fact, is the sixth. Holloway says when an officer faces a first DUI arrest he have to attend drug alcohol program and cannot drink anything for five years.
“If an officer is charged with DUI, he or she goes to the officer of professional standards,” said Holloway.
The chief says he can accept one mistake but has no tolerance for someone who doesn’t learn from the mistakes they made.
“The biggest question I want to ask him is why? There’s no excuse. There are lots of companies out there that will help with rides,” says Holloway.
There's no database that shows the numbers of law enforcement officers involved in DUI cases. Bowling Green University researchers used Google search alerts to compile data which is the most complete research available on law enforcement officers breaking the law.
Using news articles the researchers found 782 cases where officers were arrested from 2005-2010 for drunk driving nationwide. But those numbers are expected to be low since not every arrest is announced or picked up by the media and Google.