PALM BAY, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - There are questions swirling about the case of a female Melbourne Police Officer who was pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving last year.
Video shows Officer Audrey Poole taking a field sobriety test. She is breaking down into tears, saying she is worried she'll be fired. She wasn't fired, and now the Chief of Police and the State Attorney are having to answer for that, as charges against Poole were dropped.
Poole was suspended for a week, but then she went right back to patrolling. She was off duty and in her personal car, when she was pulled over for speeding and then asked to walk the line. Concerned her career was in jeopardy, she begged to be let off the hook.
"I get it, but please God, I cannot lose my job," Poole is heard saying in the video.
In the video, Poole is in shorts and a tank-top, sitting on the pavement, nervous about the trouble she may be in. The Palm Bay Officer who pulled her over reported that her eyes were bloodshot, and he smelled alcohol on her breath.
The video shows Poole performing the field sobriety test, but she refused a breathalyzer. Refusal means automatic license suspension. However, her job requires her to drive. She was placed on administrative leave for a week, then later, she was suspended without pay for 40 hours. They also took away take-home car privileges. She was given six months probation, and ordered to do an alcohol program.
FOX 35 asked officials why this case was dropped.
"This is a situation I take very seriously. I expect all members of the Melbourne Police Dept. to set the right example, comply with the law and conduct themselves beyond reproach on and off-duty. This officer made a poor decision, and she has been disciplined and held accountable for her actions," read a statement from Melbourne Police Chief David Gillespie.
The State Attorney's Office says, to avoid a conflict of interest, they asked a prosecutor from Seminole County to look at the evidence, and it was determined there was not enough to proceed.