TROY — A Miami County Sheriff’s Deputy was arrested for allegedly driving while intoxicated by a Piqua police officer in the early morning hours of Sept. 9, after he was clocked driving at speeds as high as 85 mph and nearly causing a traffic crash.
Deputy Douglas D. Byers, 43, of Bradford, was cited for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, speeding and improper lanes of travel and is scheduled for his first court appearance in Miami County Municipal Court on Sept. 26.
Byers was placed on paid administrative leave by the sheriff’s office later that morning and an active internal investigation was was immediately initiated, said sheriff’s Chief Deputy Dave Duchak.
“We are extremely saddened and disappointed by the allegations against him,” Duchak said. “He is, as are all deputies, accountable no differently than any other citizen. We are taking this matter extremely seriously and moving forward with the internal investigation as quickly as possible.”
He added: “We are grateful that nobody was hurt.”
A detailed police report of the OVI traffic stop stated a motorist behind the deputy initially reported the incident at 1:07 a.m. on Sept. 9 when Byers’ gray 2003 Chevy Trailblazer was driving across the North Main Street bridge and “hit the median on the bridge, went airborne and then landed almost causing a traffic crash.”
The eyewitness report also states Byers “never slowed down” and was “driving at a high rate of speed.”
When Byers sped by an awaiting Piqua police officer he was clocked at traveling 70 mph in a 35 mph zone. As Byers left the city on U.S. Route 36 near Spiker Road his speed increased to 85 mph and the officer noticed the vehicle went “left of center and again over the white line on the right side of the road,” according to police reports.
After Byers was stopped near Bedrock Transmission, 5125 U.S. Route 36, the officer stated in his report that he “could immediately smell a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the vehicle” and that Byers “had mumbled speech, glassy and red eyes.”
Byers refused to take a field sobriety test or breathalyzer, stated he had between five to seven beers earlier in the day and “did not realize he was speeding,” reports further disclose.
While at the police station Byers verbally berated the arresting officers with a barrage of vulgar names and told the officers they must be “proud” for arresting him, according to the police report.
The arresting officer also stated in his report that Byers refused to sign his citation and his recognizance bond and was later released to his girlfriend, but not before the officer advised Byers that he was under administrative license suspension and had his license seized.
Piqua Police Chief Bruce Jamison said he reviewed the case and said it was handled correctly by the responding officers.
“We work very closely with other law enforcement agencies and we have a good relationship with other agencies,” Jamison said. “When you are having to deal with another police officer who you might be sharing a life and death incident with, in that type of capacity, it is very difficult for the officers. In reviewing the whole case I am very proud with how the officers handled it. They handled it the same way they would have handled any other citizen in that same situation.”
Once Byers’ internal investigation is completed a pre-disciplinary hearing will be held, according to the sheriff’s office.