Fort Worth officer accused of DWI on prescription drugs is fired

Posted Monday, Sep. 09, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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A Fort Worth police officer awaiting trial for allegedly driving while intoxicated on prescriptions drugs has been fired.

Brian S. Blue, 32, was indefinitely suspended from the police department last week following an internal investigation into accusations that he took a prescription drug while on-duty, then later drove and crashed into another vehicle while intoxicated, according to a disciplinary letter filed Monday with the Civil Service Commission.

“Based on the facts obtained during an internal investigation, I have concluded that Officer Blue drove his vehicle in public while intoxicated on June 26, 2013,” states the letter, signed by Police Chief Jeff Halstead. “This violation combined with Officer Blue’s admission that he ingested a sedative while he was on duty convinces me that he should no longer be a Fort Worth police officer.”

Blue, who had joined the department in 2003, has appealed his termination.

“This is not an alcohol case,” said Blue’s attorney, Craig Driskell, with the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas. “This is a unique case involving a reaction to prescribed medication. It could happen to any of us.”

According to the letter, Blue was driving his Chevy Traverse south in the 3600 block of the South Freeway about 2 p.m. June 26 when he drifted out of his lane and struck a pickup.

Both drivers stopped in a parking lot in the 4500 block of South Freeway, where the pickup driver called police.

Responding officer Charles Simmons found Blue with “heavy eyes and soft mumbled speech,” the letter states.

When asked if he had been drinking or had taken any medication, Blue admitted taking medication earlier in the day and the night before, the letter states. The names of all medications were redacted from the letter, which was obtained by the Star-Telegram Monday through an open records request.

The letter states Blue was observed to have a “swayed balance and walk” when he got out of his SUV.

“Officer Simmons asked Officer Blue where he thought he was and Officer Blue told him that they were on Loop 820 when they were actually on the service road of the South Freeway I-35,” the letter states.

Blue was arrested after being given a field sobriety test at the scene. A search at the scene and later the jail found loose medications in his possession, including 10 pills inside his sock.

“Officer Blue was able to provide evidence that he has a prescription for the medications in his possession,” the letter states.

Blue consented to give a blood specimen, which was later analyzed by the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office.

Dr. Susan Howe, the crime lab’s director, told investigators that she believed Blue was “definitely intoxicated” based on the blood test findings, the letter states.

Blue was charged with driving while intoxicated July 11. The criminal case was still pending Monday, court records show.

‘Wanted to take a nap’

Blue later admitted to investigators that he had taken medication while at work on the morning of the wreck “because he was stressed and wanted to take a nap.”

He said he did not remember being in a crash, taking a field sobriety test, or why he would have been driving on the South Freeway that afternoon, according to the letter.

The wreck happened two hours before Blue was supposed to get off work that day.

The letter states Blue did not seek approval from proper supervisors to leave work early. Although he told a sergeant that he had a doctor’s appointment at 3 p..m., the letter states that Blue later admitted that he had no such appointment.

At the time of the wreck, Blue was on restricted duty. Halstead said Monday that while he could not comment on the reason behind Blue’s restricted duty, “it was not related to any performance concern or misconduct.”

Other intoxication cases

The same month of Blue’s arrest, two other Fort Worth officers were placed under internal and criminal investigations regarding allegations of intoxication.

Officer B.A. Leboeuf, who was arrested by a game warden while boating on Eagle Mountain Lake on June 8, later resigned from the department.

He was charged in August with boating while intoxicated. The case remained pending Monday, court records show.

Rochone Ricardo Nichols, 52, was charged with driving while intoxicated in August stemming from a June 7 motorcycle wreck in Arlington that left him and his wife injured. Nichols retired from the department in July upon reaching his 25th anniversary with the department, officials said.

Nichols’ criminal case was also still pending Monday, court records show.

Deanna Boyd, 817-390-7655 Twitter: @deannaboyd

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