Saturday, May 26, 2018
Public safety

St. Petersburg police officer arrested on DUI charge

A St. Petersburg police officer was arrested early Sunday on a drunken driving charge.

Jason Bryant Irvin, 43, faces a driving under the influence charge after a Pinellas County sheriff's deputy noticed his yellow Nissan sport utility vehicle had a tail light out and stopped him about 1:23 a.m. at 102nd Avenue N and Thurston Grove Boulevard, according to a report.

The deputy said he noticed that Irvin smelled strongly of alcohol and was unsteady, with watery, bloodshot eyes. According to the report, he performed poorly on a sobriety test. A breath test revealed a blood-alcohol level of 0.105, the report said. State law presumes impairment at 0.08. He was taken to the Pinellas County Jail, with bail set at $500.

St. Petersburg police Lt. N.M. Patterson said Irvin is a community service officer. She said an investigation was being conducted but did not know details.

Since Irvin joined the Police Department in 2001, he has received attention for his role in some quirky situations involving animals.

In 2008, Irvin had difficulty finding and arresting a man wanted for several burglaries. No one answered the door at the man's address, but Irvin noticed several cats on the property.

Irvin returned later and began meowing like a cat. The man came outside and was quickly arrested.

Another time, Irvin arrested a man and put him in the back of his cruiser, leaving the driver's door open as he explained the situation to relatives.

Suddenly, the arrested man's chihuahua jumped into the cruiser and began trying to bite Irvin. The man's family had to remove the dog.

Irvin also has received his department's Lifesaving Award for his actions in the line of duty.

In 2007, Irvin was patrolling 16th Street S when he noticed a man slumped over a table outside a business. He got a defibrillator from the cruiser's trunk and delivered a shock. The man later recovered.

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