A local enforcement agent with the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration has been arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol.
West Virginia State Police Senior Trooper C.S. Johnston arrested Gary Lee Painter, 49, of Elkins for first-offense DUI with a blood alcohol content greater than 0.15 - a misdemeanor - Oct. 19 at Erickson's Exxon on Harrison Avenue in Elkins.
Painter is a WVABCA enforcement agent for Barbour, Taylor, Webster and part of Tucker counties, according to Gig Robinson, a spokesman for the WVABCA.
According to the criminal complaint in the Randolph County Magistrate Clerk's Office, the West Virginia State Police Communications Center alerted Johnston that it had received a report of a dark green Toyota Tacoma truck with two flat tires driving "in a reckless manner" along Route 92. While Johnston was searching for the vehicle, the person who had notified state police flagged Johnston down and reportedly told the trooper that the driver of the vehicle "nearly caused multiple accidents."
The individual also informed Johnston that Painter had just pulled into Erickson's Exxon Station on Harrison Avenue, the complaint stated.
Johnston drove past the Exxon station and saw Painter getting out of the driver's side of a dark green Toyota Tacoma with a license plate matching the one the caller had described to police.
When the officer approached, "Mr. Painter was standing on the opposite side of the vehicle and had just finished urinating," Johnston wrote in the complaint.
Johnston allegedly detected the odor of alcohol on Painter's breath and noticed his eyes were glassy. When the trooper asked Painter what he was doing at the Exxon station, Painter replied he had pulled over because of vehicle trouble, and the trooper then noticed two flat tires on the passenger side of the truck, the complaint stated.
After noting the hood of the vehicle was still warm to the touch, Johnston administered three standard sobriety tests to Painter, all of which he allegedly failed. A preliminary breath test registered a BAC of 0.188, while an intoximeter test returned a reading of 0.193, according to the complaint.
Painter was arrested in the early morning of Oct. 20 and released from jail after posting bond, which had been set at $10,000 cash, property or surety.
When asked whether Painter was still employed with the WVABCA in light of the charges, Robinson, the organization's spokesman, said the matter is under investigation.
"He's been an employee since 1999," Robinson said Thursday. "We do take this very seriously."
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