TALIAFERRO COUNTY, Ga. -- A Georgia coroner is facing DUI charges after investigators said he arrived to an accident scene drunk.
It happened Sunday around 2:40 p.m. at mile marker 149 on the eastbound side of Interstate 20.
Investigators say coroner Milton Alexander was intoxicated and drove himself to the scene of a fatal accident.
The crash killed 19-year-Old Jalin Lawson and sent a passenger to the hospital.
According to an incident report, an officer said he smell alcohol on Alexander’s breath. When asked about it, Alexander reportedly said that he’d been home drinking all day. A preliminary breath test at the scene indicated a blood-alcohol level of .254, a second read .253. A .08 is the legal limit for adults in Georgia.
After being placed in the back of the patrol car, Alexander allegedly called an officer a “ball-headed [expletive]”.
When asked why he was driving, Alexander allegedly said, “What was I supposed to do? I got a call about a death.”
An open container of Bud Light was found on the driver's floor board, according to the report. Alexander claimed that his brother-in-law had driven the vehicle earlier in the day, and blamed the beer on him.
The Taliaferro County Sheriff's Office said Alexander spent the night in the Wilkes County Jail, and could not bond out until the next day because his blood alcohol level was still so high.
It’s not yet clear if Alexander has been suspended from his job, but Christopher Stephens, the president of the Georgia Coroners Association, said the rules are clear.
“You absolutely you don't partake in any alcoholic beverage while you're on call,” said Georgia Coroners Association President Christopher Stephens.
Suspension is left up to the governor, which would likely go through the district attorney or the county.
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