The sheriff of Breckinridge County, Kentucky, has left his post for 45 days while he spends time in a rehabilitation center in Tennessee.
He made that decision after he was arrested on charges of suspicion of driving under the influence and booked into Hardin County Detention Center.
The sheriff was driving his 2018 Chevrolet pickup truck along Kentucky 259 in Breckinridge County on a recent evening when his vehicle struck at 2007 Mercury Grand Marquis. The truck went on to hit a utility pole and came to a stop when it ran into a barbed wire fence.
The woman driving the Grand Marquis suffered minor injuries. She was taken to Breckinridge County Memorial Hospital and released the same evening.
According to the arrest report, the sheriff hid beer bottles -- presumably removed from his truck before deputies arrived – in the woods near the crash site. His blood alcohol content (BAC) level was listed at .159, which is nearly twice the legal limit.
The crash remains under investigation. The next court appearance was set for May 7.
This is not the first arrest for the sheriff, who was elected in 2003. In 2015, he was arrested on charges of reckless driving, DUI and making a terroristic threat.
The sheriff has taken a good first step by seeking treatment for alcohol use. Still, it will not solve the legal issues he faces. As he recovers, he will need an attorney experienced in drunk-driving cases representing him as the criminal charges against him wind through the court system.