A Florida DUI stop conducted by the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) is being investigated due to the fact the suspected drunk driver may have been given a careless driving ticket rather than a DUI because he is a fellow law enforcement officer. According to a story on Jacksonville.com, Officer Lenell Boyer crashed into a dump truck on the interstate, left the scene of the accident and urinated in the back of a patrol car but was never asked to perform a field sobriety test. He was only given a citation for careless driving and then released.
Boyer reportedly had a blood-alcohol level of 0.12, above the legal limit of 0.08 in Florida. The Sheriff’s Office routinely requests the FHP handle officer-related crashes but an investigation was launched in order to find out why there were no field sobriety tests conducted by the FHP. The trooper who made the decision to write him a traffic citation and not to conduct a DUI investigation has retired and according to the FHP he was not facing termination after a 25 year career.
The officer who originally arrived on the scene noticed signs of impairment and told the FHP officer that he felt the suspect was drunk. That didn’t stop Boyer from being released over the officer’s objections. That officer followed the car that picked Boyer up from the scene of the investigation. It was at that time he took Boyer to jail for a breath test.
The Sheriff’s Office said all the information they discovered following the FHP criminal investigation could not be used to arrest Boyer due to his Garrity rights. These rights were established in 1976 by the U.S. Supreme Court and they protect public employees from criminal prosecution if what they have divulged was used to cooperate in an internal investigation.