Sunday, June 24, 2018
Public safety

Trooper dismissed after DUI, drug arrest in Spring Hill

SPRING HILL — A Florida Highway Patrol trooper has been dismissed after he was arrested on duty last week on charges of driving under the influence and felony drug possession, according to FHP.

Commercial vehicle enforcement Trooper Shaun Robert Morel, 36, of Spring Hill was fired July 10, the day after he was arrested.

"Troopers are and should be held to the highest standards of integrity and trust," according to an FHP statement. "Morel's actions showed that he failed to uphold those standards expected of our members, and this behavior will not be tolerated by the department."

According to an arrest report:

About 4:30 p.m. July 9, an FHP trooper was informed of a possibly impaired driver at a gas station at Linden and Spring Hill drives. Morel was outside of his vehicle, but video from the station revealed that he had driven to the station. Troopers said Morel's eyes were bloodshot, and they described his speech as "very slurred" and "thick tongued." The report also noted that Morel's gait was impaired and he had difficulty with normal tasks.

After observing the signs of impairment, troopers asked him to perform some field sobriety tests, according to the report, then determined that he was "impaired beyond the normal use of his faculties" and placed under arrest.

While at the Hernando County Detention Center, Morel refused to submit to a urine test.

"Can't I just resign rather than take this test?" he asked troopers, according to their report.

During a search of the state vehicle, authorities found eight 7.5-milligram hydrocodone pills in a Tic Tac container.

Morel was released from jail July 10 after posting $1,250 bail.

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