Deputy driving cruiser with BAC of .15 not charged | News
SUMTER COUNTY, SC (WIS)- A corporal with the Sumter County Sheriff's Department is out of a job after a blood-alcohol test registered almost twice the legal limit the night officers found his vehicle parked in the middle of Highway 521.
According to records released by the Sumter County Sheriff's Department, Cpl. Willie McFadden, 30, resigned his position effective July 13 for personal issues.
On July 11 at approximately 1:30 a.m., McFadden's county-issued Dodge Charger was discovered parked in the middle of a driving lane of Highway 521 near Callen Drive, according to a sheriff's office incident report.
As the responding deputy called the vehicle's information in, McFadden, who was off-duty at the time, moved the car to the side of the road, the report stated. Before the deputy exited his vehicle, McFadden started pulling back into the road, according to the report. The deputy then sounded his siren and McFadden pulled back off the road.
When another deputy pulled up to the scene, both approached McFadden's vehicle. As they walked to the cruiser, they recognized the driver as Cpl. McFadden, according to the report. One of the deputies asked McFadden where he was coming from and why he was parked in the middle of the roadway. According to the report, McFadden said he was coming back from a training class in Santee and he did not realize that he was in the roadway.
Although they could not smell alcohol on McFadden's breath, both deputies decided, according to the report, that "McFadden wasn't acting right and shouldn't be driving." McFadden told the deputies that he had not been drinking.
At that point, a supervisor from the sheriff's department showed up and had a conversation with McFadden, according to the report.
Shortly after that, two highway patrol troopers were called to the scene to administer a field sobriety test.
Video from a Highway Patrol dash camera shows a trooper putting McFadden through a field sobriety test.
When asked if he had been drinking that night, McFadden responded, "Not tonight."
"When's the last time you had something to drink?" asked one of the troopers. "Yesterday, maybe," said McFadden.
"Sitting here talking with you, I can smell it coming off of you pretty strong," said one of the troopers.
"You were stopped in the middle of the road, you know how that happened?" asked one of the troopers. "As far as I know he just pulled me over in the middle of the road. I wasn't stopped in the middle of the road," McFadden responded.
The video goes on to show McFadden reciting his ABC's, walking heel-to-toe on a road line and then standing on one leg and counting up to 25.
Both troopers said McFadden "seemed to have had some alcohol earlier in the day but was not impaired enough not to drive a motor vehicle.," the report stated. The troopers left McFadden in the custody of the sheriff's department.
"Just by what I looked at, we got nothing to take him in on," said one of the troopers to the Sumter County supervisor. "It's apparent that he's been drinking, I mean I can smell it."
Supervisors on the scene decided to transport McFadden to the Sumter Police Department to have a blood-alcohol test completed.
The breathalyzer test results showed that McFadden's blood-alcohol level was .15 %, according to the report.
Captain Allen Dailey then suspended McFadden without pay. Dailey wrote in a written warning to McFadden that his recommendation was to terminate his employment. McFadden never saw the warning.
Two days later, McFadden sent a resignation letter to Sheriff Anthony Dennis. In it, McFadden wrote: "This was not an easy decision on my part, but I am currently dealing with some personal issues I'm trying to resolve."
McFadden has not been charged in the incident.
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