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Intoxicated Man Seeks Job with Police - Classic

News Break

04/11/2004 21:33:05 EST

Intoxicated Man Seeks Job With Police

ORCHARDS, Wash. - A man who stopped by Washington State Patrol headquarters to ask about a job didn't get what he wanted - but he did find out how a hand-held alcohol tester works.

Robert Gulley, an unemployed radio technician, was ticketed for alleged drunken driving as he drove away from the patrol office in this city near Vancouver. He had asked for a job application.

"I guess it was a bad time to go there," Gulley, 25, of nearby Sifton, told The Columbian newspaper. "It was a bad judgment call."

When Gulley walked into patrol headquarters Wednesday afternoon, he was slurring his words, had glassy eyes and his breath smelled of alcohol, Trooper Maureen Crandall said.

When she told him it wasn't a good idea to apply to be a trooper while intoxicated, Gulley denied drinking, another trooper said.

So Trooper Rich Bettger, who'd overheard what was going on, offered to measure Gulley's blood alcohol level with a hand-held breath tester.

Gulley blew a 0.095, above the state's legal limit for driving of 0.08, indicating he'd had at least three drinks, March said.

Gulley said he had only had one drink - a Long Island iced tea - and that it likely caused a high alcohol reading because he hadn't eaten in more than a day.

When the troopers asked Gulley how he got to the station, they said he told them he'd been given a ride. The officers said they warned Gulley not to drive home.

But after leaving the office and pacing back and forth on a nearby side street for 10 minutes, Gulley got into his car and drove away, troopers said.

He was promptly pulled over and ticketed. Gulley was given two more alcohol-breath tests, which both gave readings of slightly over 0.08, Trooper Garvin March said.

The troopers then arranged for Gulley's sister to drive him home.

"I actually still want to join the police department," Gulley said. "Those guys are doing their job keeping the roads safe."

But state troopers said Gulley's career prospects with the patrol appear dim.

"I guarantee he's not going to get a job with us," March said. "We've arrested drunks in unexpected ways and places before, but this one just blew me away."

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