Hernando County Sherriff’s Deputy Joseph Michael Tibor was arrested on January 12, 2014 for driving under the influence after he was pulled over for going 85 MPH in a 55 MPH zone. When Tibor was pulled over, he smelled of alcohol, had bloodshot eyes and had difficulty giving his driver’s license to the arresting officer. Tibor admitted to the arresting officer that he’d had five drinks earlier that night. Tibor then was unsteady while taking a sobriety test and refused to take a breathalyzer. Since his arrest, Tibor has been put on paid administrative leave with the Hernando County Sherriff’s Department.
It is especially upsetting for most people when a police officer is arrested for drinking and driving or is involved in an accident because they have been drinking. Most people hold law enforcement officers at a higher standard as compared to civilian drivers, believing that because they are in law enforcement, they should be more aware of illegal activity. In the case of Tibor, he appeared to have first tried to use his position as a law enforcement officer to gain an edge when it came to his arrest by passing over his badge to the arresting officer before he even was able to give the officer his driver’s license.
Regardless of whether or not Tibor is a police officer, he still faces serious charges, both for the DUI itself and for refusing to take a breathalyzer. For the DUI , which appears to be a first offense, Tibor faces a fine of $500 to $1000, a mandatory 50 hours of community service, and revocation of his driver’s license for between 180 days and 1 year and a possible jail sentence of not more than 6 months.
However, because Tibor refused to take a breathalyzer, he faces additional strict penalties on top of the ones he already faces for drinking and driving. Tibor faces the possibility of losing his license for an additional year just for refusing the test, something that he almost definitely knew because of his role in law enforcement.
Because of his role in law enforcement, there are other consequences to Tibor because of his DUI arrest. Highest on the list is the risk that he will lose his job. While how each police department handles an officer’s arrest are different based on factors such as labor contracts, it is likely that if he is found guilty, Tibor will lose his job. Having a driver’s license is an essential part of the job for a police officer, so the very fact of having his license suspended for months or possibly more than a year means that he lacks something necessary for his job. Much of what will happen in Tibor’s future when it comes to his career is still up in the air and will be until his DUI case is resolved.
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