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Last updated on Tuesday, May 1, 2012
(INDIANAPOLIS) - An IMPD officer suspected of drunk driving tested above the legal limit for alcohol, but a second test showed he was legal to drive.
As of Sunday, Indianapolis Metro Police Officer Morton Gallagher has been with the department 21 years. He has commendations and letters of appreciation from former Mayor Stephen Goldsmith, a Medal for Bravery from the Indianapolis Police Department, and now stands accused of being in uniform while driving his police car and under the influence of alcohol.
An IMPD commander was tipped that Officer Gallagher was on his way home after moonlighting and might have been drinking. When he was stopped by police just a few feet from his house, police say he had watery, bloodshot eyes and an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath. According to his fellow police officers, Gallagher failed three field sobriety tests.
For the fourth test, Officer Gallagher was taken to the nearest breathalyzer machine, which was in the Southport Police station. His first test registered a .11 blood alcohol content, which is over the legal limit to drive. Gallagher was on his way to jail until the officer that did the testing realized he failed to examine Gallagher's mouth before the test. According to Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry, that is a violation of procedure
"He realized he had not observed the defendant's mouth or been with him for the requisite period of time that is required by the procedures," Curry said.
That meant the arresting officer and Gallagher had to return to the same machine and take the test again, this time getting a different reading. Gallagher, according to police, had a blood alcohol test of .07, just under the legal limit to drive.
Now, investigators from the Marion County Prosecutor's Office are working on sorting out the details.
"At this point, we have no reason to believe that anything done here was done as a part of any initial cover-up or to assist a fellow officer," said Curry.
Metro police are not commenting on the case and, at this time, no charges have been filed.
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