Ohio State Trooper Accused Of Driving Drunk, Crashing Into Parked Cars
An Ohio State Trooper is accused in a case of extreme drunk driving and 10TV has learned it's not the first time he's been accused of breaking the law he gets paid to enforce.
Columbus Police say Trooper Jeremy Garner plowed into two parked cars Sunday night, and then attempted to drive away.
Investigators say his blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit.
Columbus Police records indicate Garner was aggressively drunk when he got behind the wheel Sunday night, and crashed into two parked cars.
"I heard a big loud boom outside of my window," said Nicole Celebrezze.
She says she looked out her window to see her car had been hit.
She says she called 911 and ran down to the street, to see the SUV that hit her car pulling away. "He almost made it to High Street, but I don't think he would have gotten far because his tire was sideways."
By that time, Columbus Police were there, keeping the driver from going any further.
"He pretty much fell out of the automobile," Celebrezze said. "That's when I knew this was a drunk driver."
A Columbus Police crash report shows Garner tested at .277, more than three times the legal limit.
"Didn't seem coherent. I highly doubt he remembers anything that occurred," Celebrezze said.
Records obtained by 10TV show this wasn't Garner's first OVI charge.
In 2007, Grove City Police stopped him for speeding, clocking him at 69 miles per hour in a 35 zone.
He failed field sobriety tests, and registered a blood alcohol content of .209.
The test was thrown out because of a machine malfunction, but he pleaded guilty, getting 3 days in jail, two years' probation, and a 6 month license suspension.
"When are you going to learn?" asked Celebrezze. "At least learn from the first mistake, if you're going to make a mistake at all."
She knows this could have been worse.
"I'm just glad no one got hurt," she said.
But she's troubled by the actions of a public safety professional who should know better.
"It's a serious thing, State Trooper or not. When you're in that position, in the public eye, you should really, really have some consequences for those actions."
Garner faces charges tonight including OVI and fleeing the scene of a crash.
The State Patrol tells 10TV he is using his own leave time right now as the Patrol investigates the matter.
We asked how his last OVI was handled by the Patrol, but they can't tell us.
The Department of Public Safety only retains internal investigation records for 5 years, so a spokesperson says those records from 2007 no longer exist.
Garner did not return 10TV's calls for comment.