Bryan police officer arrested for driving while intoxicated during funeral procession
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Bryan police say one of their officers was arrested for driving while intoxicated, while on-duty working a funeral procession on Sept. 2.
According to court documents, Kristen Johnson, 36, had trouble understanding the route, slurred her words throughout the morning, was unsteady on her feet, and nearly hit another patrol vehicle.
After returning to the station, another officer confronted Johnson about her unusual behavior. She reportedly told the officer that her new medication “makes her loopy.” After she failed a field sobriety test, officers followed city protocol for an investigation of on-duty intoxication.
An internal affairs investigation was launched as the criminal investigation began. Johnson resigned from the police department shortly after investigations began, according to BPD.
Lab analysis reportedly showed Johnson’s blood alcohol content was .186.
Johnson was arrested on Oct. 20 on the driving while intoxicated charge and bonded out of jail the same day.
Bryan Police Chief Eric Buske says he is grateful that officers did the right thing and spoke up. He also says glad that no one was hurt in this situation.
“I think that they knew what the right thing to do was, and we expect all of our officers to do the right thing. Just because we’re police officers doesn’t mean we have to follow the law. We do,” said Buske.
Johnson’s criminal investigation will trigger an investigation with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. Depending on the charges and if she is convicted will ultimately determine her future in law enforcement.
So generally speaking, assuming that TCOLE has been properly notified of criminal charges, a licensee who’s separated from employment by their own choice or their agency’s choice is placed on an enforcement hold that prevents them from working at another law enforcement agency until the final disposition has been reached,” said Gretchen Grigsby, Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Director of Government Relations.
“For a class B misdemeanor, it’s a minimum of sixty days suspension - maximum of 10 years. A class A misdemeanor- a minimum of 120 days suspension maximum of 10 years. And for a felony, it’s an automatic statutory revocation,” said Grigsby.
Chief Buske says resources are available for officers that may be facing some life challenges.
“The city of Bryan offers an employee assistance program to help with counseling for people with situations like alcoholism or other problems,” said Buske. “The Bryan Police Department, we also have a peer support team that’s a group of officers that have received special training to help people that are going through a rough patch.”
A court date has not been set for Johnson’s case.
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