A 46-year old deputy in the King County Sheriff's Office is in trouble after being discovered allegedly under the influence on New Year's Eve in Newcastle. Around 9:30pm on December 31, a civilian noticed the 15-year veteran deputy slumped over the wheel of his marked patrol car in a coffee shop parking lot. The person was unable to awaken the deputy and subsequently dialed 911. When authorities arrived, they determined that the deputy was impaired by some type of drug, possibly a narcotic.
Because he was behind the wheel of his squad car, the deputy was jailed on charges of physical control of a motor vehicle while impaired, which is identical under the law to a DUI charge. The King County Sherriff's Office and Bellevue Police Department are continuing to investigate the case.
It's likely that the suspect will be placed on administrative leave from the sheriff's office while the investigation may be completed. In addition to the criminal charge, he also faces suspension from the force. It is hoped that the deputy will be treated by the legal system in the same manner that a civilian would be if the civilian were found in the same situation.