Monday, May 21, 2018
Public safety

Pasco firefighter charged with DUI, faces desk duty

NEW PORT RICHEY — A Pasco County firefighter was arrested early Friday morning after, deputies say, he was caught speeding and swerving on U.S. 19.

Victor Scheeren, 51, was driving his BMW at 61 mph in a 45 mph zone when a deputy pulled him over, a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report states. He had the smell of beer on his breath, bloodshot eyes and failed a field sobriety test, the report states.

Scheeren told the deputy he drank one beer that night. Asked to submit to a Breathalyzer test, he replied, "Absolutely not."

He was charged with driving under the influence and released on his own recognizance.

Scheeren has worked at Pasco County Fire Rescue since 2000, said the county's personnel director, Barbara DeSimone. He has no prior disciplinary record.

When Scheeren gets back to work, he will be sent to an employee assistance program. He will work a desk job until his case is resolved, DeSimone said.

People who decline the Breathalyzer test automatically lose their license for a year, though they can seek a hardship license to get to work. Under Florida law, a person convicted of DUI may not drive an ambulance for three years — a necessary part of Scheeren's job.

DeSimone said if Scheeren is convicted of DUI, he would lose his job.

Scheeren could not be reached Friday for comment.

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