A Lake County Cop Receives DUI and Has Previous Charges On His Record
This Lake County cop receives DUI charges in a state vehicle, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Police commander Dave Britton of the Lake County Gang Intellegence Unit was charged with driving while intoxicated, endangerment, and leaving the scene of an accident. Two people were injured in the incident in which Britton hit two cars while speeding. On January 31 the officer was driving down Main Street with a blood alcohol level three times greater than the legal limit when he hit a car he was trying to pass in the rear bumper and careened into another vehicle waiting at a traffic light. Witnesses say that Britton stopped and looked into both vehicles before fleeing the scene only to be pulled over at a Walgreen’s later.
Since this is the first time Britton, 46, has been charged with drunk driving, all the charges will be filed as misdemeanors. The department has five years to bump the charges up to felony status pending a report on the extent of the victims’ injuries. According to Sheriff John Buncich, paid administrative leave is the harshest punishment that can be served to Britton until the trial since the crimes are being dealt with as misdemeanors.
“I am very displeased with what happened. I think police officers should hold themselves to a higher standard,” Buncich said.
Britton has been demoted and will attend a hearing to determine his continued employment status with the sheriff’s department merit board.
This may be the first time this Lake County Cop receives DUI, but it’s far from the beginning of his vehicular troubles with the law. Britton already has two strikes on his record, one of which involved a death and hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.
In 2012 Britton was suspended and briefly lost his county vehicle privileges after failing to report an accident in a state vehicle within the ten day time limit prescribed by federal law. He crashed the vehicle, which was state property, into the guardhouse in front of a subdivision called Havenswood.
In late 2002 he crashed another state vehicle while in uniform, fatally injuring Griffith resident Marga Gniffke, 75. Gniffke died soon after the accident due to her injuries and a civil suit was filed against both Britton and the county. In 2006 the case was settled out of court. The county paid $750,000 to Gniffke’s estate.
In both previous incidents Britton was found to be at fault but no alcohol was in evidence at the investigations. Hopefully this Lake County Cop receives DUI will be the charge that finally gets this irresponsible officer off of the road and out of the force.