LARGO — A Pinellas sheriff’s lieutenant was fired after she was charged with driving under the influence, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office reported.
Christi Ruhtz, 41, was first hired by the agency in December 1998 and was working in the Public Records Processing Unit until Sunday morning.
About 1:49 a.m., a person called authorities, saying a driver near the intersection of 130th Avenue and Wild Acres Road was driving in reverse while honking a horn. When deputies arrived, they found Ruhtz, the only person in the vehicle.
The lieutenant’s eyes were bloodshot and glassy, and she smelled of alcohol, according the Sheriff’s Office. She performed poorly on field sobriety tests, according to the agency, and refused to give a breath sample for the criminal investigation. She was then forced to give one for the agency. That test showed alcohol levels of 0.14 and 0.13, deputies said. The state assumes impairment at 0.08.
Ruhtz was taken to Pinellas County Jail and released on her own recognizance. She was immediately terminated, in line with Sheriff’s Office policy.
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