Illinois State Trooper pleads guilty to DUI while on Duty

From the Chicago Tribune:

An Illinois State Police trooper who authorities said was intoxicated when he responded to a crash on Interstate 88 last year pleaded guilty Monday to driving under the influence, according to Kane County prosecutors.

Trooper Paul Zurn, 34, agreed to a sentence of one year of court supervision in exchange for a guilty plea to misdemeanor DUI, according to a news release from the Kane County state’s attorney’s office. Judge Robert Morrow accepted the plea.

According to prosecutors, Zurn responded to a minor traffic crash on Aug. 22, 2015, on I-88 near Farnsworth Avenue in Aurora. At the scene, Zurn “was observed by other troopers to be unsteady on his feet, and a bottle containing alcoholic liquor was found in his squad car,” according to the news release.

Zurn refused to submit to a portable breath test and standardized field sobriety tests and also refused to submit to a Breathalyzer test, according to the release. As a result, his driver’s license was suspended for one year by the Illinois Secretary of State.

According to Illinois law, first-time misdemeanor DUI offenders are eligible for supervision, the release said. In addition to the supervision sentence, Zurn must undergo alcohol treatment, pay $2,185 in costs and fines and attend a victim impact panel.

Information about Zurn’s job status was not immediately available.

Two things to note:  1) he refused all tests (so why shouldn’t you do the exact same thing if you end up in the same situation); and 2) even without doing the tests, and without getting his license suspension rescinded which would allow him to work, he plead guilty. Here is a State Trooper, on duty, and there are no field tests or blood alcohol level, yet he still plead guilty.  Since I have not seen the arrest reports, videos or reviewed any of the evidence, I am not in a position to evaluate his case.  But this goes to show that there is no such thing as a slam-dunk case.

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