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Published: Tuesday, 10/27/2009

Toledo officer faces DUI charge

Breier Breier

A Toledo police officer will appear in court to face charges that he was drunk while on duty behind the wheel of a patrol car.

James W. Breier, 53, was arrested Friday afternoon and accused of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol when he responded to a traffic crash and appeared intoxicated, police records state.

He was booked into the Lucas County jail and released after he posted $500 bond. His arraignment is scheduled for 1 p.m. tomorrow in Toledo Municipal Court.

Officer Breier, who has been a Toledo police officer since 1982, postponed the administrative investigation until after his criminal case is complete, which is accepted under the union contract with the Toledo Police Patrolman's Association, Toledo Police Chief Mike Navarre said.

In doing that, Officer Breier removed himself from duty without pay.

He had been suspended without pay since the incident occurred about 1:45 p.m. Friday.

Officer Breier was near the end of his shift when he was called to a crash involving a fire engine at

Detroit and Berdan avenues.

A battalion chief with the fire department who also was called to the scene noted that Officer Breier appeared to be intoxicated. He called a police sergeant.

"It was felt the officer was intoxicated, and he was taken into custody," Chief Navarre said.

Officer Breier smelled of intoxicants, had slurred speech, and his eyes were glassy and bloodshot, a police report states.

He refused a Breathalyzer test and failed field sobriety tests, the report states.

In Ohio, refusing a Breathalyzer results in suspension of a driver's license for one year.

Officer Breier later submitted to a Breathalyzer test for the administrative investigation when ordered to do so.

Chief Navarre explained that officers have to participate in the administrative investigation or they could face a charged of insubordination.

Officer Breier was in uniform when he responded to the accident.

Officer Breier's shift the day of the incident was from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Chief Navarre said the police department is stricter in disciplinary situations than other civilian departments.

"We tend to hold our sworn personnel to higher standards," he said.

Officer Breier's personnel file contained no recent reprimands.

Under the department's contract with the union, disciplinary records are retained for a maximum of five years.

His record did include several exceptional performance reports for his role in situations such as helping to save a suicidal teen in 1988 and the successful arrest of a fleeing suspect in 1984.

He also was awarded the police department's professional service award in 2003.

Contact Meghan Gilbert-Cunningham

at: mcunningham@theblade.com

or 419-724-6134.

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