Commonwealth Journal

October 29, 2013

SPD sergeant charged with DUI

by Heather Tomlinson
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset — A sergeant with the Somerset Police Department has been suspended after he was arrested on DUI charges over the weekend.

Sgt. Jason Griffith, 41, of Somerset, was arrested at around 11:30 p.m. Sunday by Kentucky Fish & Wildlife Officer Lucas Tucker and charged with one count of operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

According to the arrest citation, a public document available at the Pulaski Court of Justice, Tucker allegedly saw Griffith “driving at a high rate of speed on (Ky.) 80 ... crossing all lanes, going into the grass and shoulder on both sides of the road.”

Tucker also writes in the citation that he smelled “a strong odor of (an) alcoholic beverage” on Griffith. Griffith was also allegedly swaying while standing outside the Ford F-150 he was driving when he was pulled over.

Griffith was not on duty when the arrest happened.

Tucker also reported that Griffith refused field sobriety tests.

Captain Shannon Smith, with the Somerset Police Department, confirmed that SPD was called to assist on the scene, and two patrol officers and a lieutenant responded. Written as a witness on the arrest citation was SPD Lt. Mike Correll.

The traffic stop and arrest took place at the intersection of East Ky. 80 and Ky. 914 in Somerset.

Griffith was placed on paid suspension pending the outcome of the court case. His next court date is slated for Nov. 18.

According to SPD’s disciplinary section of its personnel manual, which was obtained by the Commonwealth Journal through an unrelated July 2013 open records request, criminal complaints filed against an SPD employee generally result in either the paid or unpaid suspension of the employee until criminal proceedings are completed.

Also included in the section is a statement that any resolution in court handed down that may favor the employee (as in the employee has been found innocent, or the case has been dismissed), administrative action from within the department may still be carried out.

Griffith is currently a patrol sergeant with SPD. He began his tenure with the department in February of 1998.

Local defense attorney Scott Foster is representing Griffith. He declined to comment on the case.

Griffith was lodged in the Pulaski County Detention Center on Sunday. He posted a $2,000 bond and was released Monday.