Trooper Not Charged with Florida DUI Following Wreck

The Florida Highway Patrol is reviewing a case involving a possible drunken Jacksonville police officer receiving special treatment earlier this year after an accident. The officer was reportedly intoxicated at the time yet he was not charged with driving under the influence in Florida.

An internal affairs report from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says that Officer Lennell Boyer was off-duty and driving his own vehicle on March 7 when he crashed into slow moving dump-truck on Interstate 95. Boyer was placed in the back seat of a police cruiser while an accident investigation was conducted. Because intoxication was suspected, the JSO contacted the Florida Highway Patrol to undertake that portion of the investigation. According to police documents, Boyer tried to flee the scene, made numerous phone calls to a police communications center while in the police vehicle, pounded on the door of the cruiser and urinated on the floor. The JSO report goes on to note that several officers at the scene were surprised that the FHP did not arrest Boyer for FL DUI.

JSO internal affairs detectives interviewed the FHP trooper who was at the scene, who said that alcohol was detected but Boyer did not appear to be intoxicated. As a consequence, no field sobriety tests were conducted and Boyer was issued a ticket for careless driving and released.

In response, the JSO supervisor at the accident scene ordered Boyer to submit to a test for blood alcohol content under an administrative proceeding, which Boyer could not refuse. Two tests resulted in a BAC in excess of .12%. The legal threshold for intoxication in the State of Florida is .08%. Because the tests were conducted under an administrative process, however, the results are not admissible as evidence in court and charges of drunk driving were not filed.

Boyer was suspended for one month without pay for conduct unbecoming of an officer. The JSO says the suspension would have been longer if Boyer was on duty at the time of the incident.

Citing its on-going investigation into whether preferential treatment was provided to a law enforcement officer involved in suspected Florida DUI, the FHS has refused comment.

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