The St. Petersburg Times is reporting that Officer Christopher Sutherlin, accused last week of fleeing an accident in which he was driving drunk, resigned from the police force this week.
According to Florida Highway Patrol reports, last week Sutherlin rear-ended a pickup on U.S. 19 north of Main Street and sped away. The pickup driver followed Sutherlin until he was forced to pull over because of front-end damage to Sutherlin’s car. Early the next morning, Troopers arrested Sutherlin on charges of leaving the scene of an accident and later gave him a Breathalyzer test, which registered blood alcohol levels of 0.148 and 0.151 blood-alcohol level. (Florida law presumes a driver impaired at 0.08.)
Sutherlin is charged with DUI, DUI with personal injury and DUI with Property Damage as well as Leaving the Scene of an Accident. The Times reports that the police department began an internal investigation of the incident, which also involved Officer Joseph Pascalli, who was riding with Sutherlin. Pascalli, who had been part of the department’s DUI unit, is now working the midnight shift on patrol.
In a strange twist to the story, Joshua Vitori–who was driving the pickup Sutherlin struck– is a former Pasco County paramedic who resigned from his job last week as a result of accusations he stole $300 from a patient in his ambulance.
If you are a loved one has been charged with DUI please contact the New Port Richey DUI attorneys at Whittel & Melton, LLC at 727-847-2299.