LARGO, Fla. -- A 19-year veteran of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office is out of a job, accused of driving drunk.

A neighbor in the area of 130th Avenue and Wild Acres Road called authorities about a vehicle sounding its horn just before 2 a.m. Sunday, March 18. Deputies responded and saw Christi Ruhtz, 41, driving backward and honking the car's horn, according to a news release.

She was noted to have bloodshot, glassy and watery eyes, with the smell of alcohol on her breath.

Deputies say Ruhtz agreed to a field sobriety test but performed poorly. The news release states she refused to submit to a breath sample. However, because of her employment with the sheriff's office, she was obligated to submit; the blood alcohol content result was about .14 percent.

The limit in Florida is 0.08 percent.

Ruhtz was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. She was immediately fired by the sheriff's office.

She was hired by the office on Dec. 21, 1998, and worked as a lieutenant in the public records processing unit.

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