On-duty Watertown police officer allegedly drove patrol car while drunk

Watertown Police
Watertown Police(WWNY)
Published: Apr. 7, 2023 at 2:22 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - A Watertown police officer is accused of driving drunk while he was on duty and behind the wheel of a marked patrol car.

Officer Ernest Miller was arrested Friday morning and charged with a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated.

“We’re all shocked that this happened,” said Watertown Police Chief Charles Donoghue.

According to police, Miller was working as a uniformed police patrol officer and driving a marked patrol car on March 7.

Detective Sergeant Joseph Giaquinto said Miller’s condition was “discovered internally.” He declined to elaborate.

Giaquinto said Miller was given a breathalyzer test, which showed Miller’s blood alcohol content was .17 percent. The legal threshold for drunk driving is .08 percent BAC.

Miller was relieved of duty that day.

Giaquinto said Watertown police conducted an internal investigation.

Arrangements were made for Miller to turn himself in on Friday. He was processed and released.

He’s scheduled to appear in city court on April 26.

Meanwhile, Watertown City Manager Kenneth Mix has suspended Miller without pay pending a disciplinary hearing.

Giaquinto said Miller is 42 years old and has been with the department for the last decade.