South Carolina State Trooper charged with DUI www.privateofficer.com
COLUMBIA, SC Sept 14 2010 – An off-duty South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper was fired early Sunday morning after Richland County deputies charged him with driving under the influence, after the Trooper crashed his personal car in Five Points, according to DPS Director Mark Keel.
The Trooper, Joe Buchwald, was leaving the popular downtown Columbia bar area when he ran through an intersection and hit a wall, according to Keel. Buchwald entered the patrol’s Trooper class in January and joined the patrol on May 28. Buchwald’s vehicle was the only one involved in the incident.
Patrol Commander Colonel Kenny Lancaster met with Buchwald at the jail around 5 a.m. Sunday morning, and “fired him on the spot,” Keel said. “We have a zero tolerance approach to DUI, and we don’t put up with it,” Keel said, “He violated that rule and we fired him.” It took the patrol less than an hour after hearing about the incident to terminate the Trooper.
“We put an emphasis on DUI and our own people have to abide by that same standard,” Keel said. Both Keel and Lancaster have met with each Trooper personally over the past year to discuss the patrol’s zero tolerance policy, Keel said. “He knew better,” Director Keel told WIS.
Buchwald is a native of Hillsdale, New Jersey and was assigned to Richland County, according to the patrol’s Web site. Buchwald was released from the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center Sunday on bond. There is no trial date set yet.