Blood tests have determined that a King County sheriff’s deputy had multiple prescription drugs in his system that impaired him while he was on duty New Year’s Eve, Bellevue Police said Wednesday.
The case has now been forwarded to the King County Prosecutor’s Office to determine whether charges will be filed.
The deputy, a 15-year veteran, was arrested Dec. 31, 2013, for suspicion of physical control of a motor vehicle, which is the equivalent of a DUI when no driving is observed. A sheriff’s office spokesperson said a citizen called 911 when he observed the deputy in Newcastle, hunched over the steering wheel, and could not wake him.
The deputy, 46, initially denied the allegations and said he was exhausted and at the end of his shift when he pulled into a parking lot to get coffee and sleep.
"I'm innocent and the blood test results will prove that, the deputy told KING 5 News on Jan. 1.
Bellevue police said Wednesday that a standard toxicology screening from the Washington State Patrol Toxicology Lab found no prescription medications in his system. But, police said those findings were inconsistent with observations of the deputy and his own statements.
Blood samples were sent to the NMS Labs in Pennsylvania, which police say can look for substances beyond what the state patrol can detect.
Bellevue Police say the results came back positive last week, noting that there was the presence of multiple prescription drugs, all of which “have impairing qualities and contain warnings about operating machinery or vehicles."
The deputy is currently assigned to "light duty" and is only performing clerical work.