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Published: Tuesday, 3/30/2004

Toledo detective cited for drunken driving

An off-duty Toledo police detective was cited for driving while intoxicated after an Ohio Highway Patrol trooper saw her run a stop sign in Swanton Township.

Jennifer Bechtel, 41, who is assigned to the gang task force, was cited Saturday night for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and for failure to stop at a stop sign. She is scheduled for arraignment today in Maumee Municipal Court.

The Toledo Police Department has initiated an internal investigation into the matter, and the 15-year officer will be temporarily reassigned, Chief Mike Navarre said.

A motorist called the highway patrol to report a weaving vehicle and gave troopers its location. A trooper saw the driver fail to stop for a stop sign about 10:45 p.m. at U.S. 20A and Airport Highway and pulled over the vehicle, said Lt. George Jutze, post commander.

He said it was the trooper's opinion that Ms. Bechtel failed field sobriety tests. She then refused to take a breath test. Gary Burks, first vice president of the Toledo Police Patrolman's Association, declined comment yesterday.

He said Ms. Bechtel also is declining comment.

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