JACKSONVILLE, Fla — A Jacksonville Sheriff's Officer is facing DUI charges and faces an emergency suspension from his job as an officer, according to JSO.
Zachary Taylor, a three-and-a-half year veteran with the sheriff's office, was arrested on one first-degree misdemeanor charge of DUI early Thursday morning. Several people called 911 to report bad driving by a police officer in a marked patrol car, Undersheriff Pat Ivey said in a news conference announcing the arrest.
Taylor's vehicle reportedly struck multiple construction cones near TIAA Bank Field, Ivey said. The reports quickly went through the JSO communications center to the Integrity Special Investigations Unit, which responded to the scene and found Taylor showing signs of being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, Ivey said.
Taylor made a statement to investigators alluding to activities from "the night before," Ivey said.
Taylor's blood alcohol content "far exceeded" the legal limit of 0.08, Ivey said, which means he was well beyond the sheriff's office limit of 0.000.
"That means absolutely no alcohol in your system whatsoever when you operate a JSO vehicle," Ivey said.
Because of that, Taylor will face an administrative process including the emergency suspension from his job. JSO will also move to terminate him "as soon as the time is appropriate," Ivey said.
Ivey said the courts will have to determine whether enhanced charges are appropriate due to the fact that the vehicle Taylor was driving was a public safety vehicle.
JSO receives anywhere from several hundred to a thousand complaints on police officers every year, Ivey said. Each of them is investigated, and JSO tracks the numbers of how many are sustained and result in disciplinary action. Anyone who sees an officer engaging in misconduct may make a report, and can do so anonymously.
The arrest marks the third time a JSO officer has been arrested so far in 2021. Eleven JSO employees were arrested last year.