Central Fla. deputy charged with DUI, suspended

Published: Saturday, January 2, 2010 at 8:26 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 2, 2010 at 8:26 a.m.

BARTOW, Fla. — A central Florida sheriff's deputy has been suspended without pay after allegedly being found drunk behind the wheel of his car.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office says a deputy found 37-year-old James Pruitt passed out early Thursday behind the wheel of his Jeep with the engine running.

Authorities say Pruitt failed to pass field sobriety tests. He was arrested and taken to the Polk County Jail, where the sheriff's office says he refused to submit to a breath test to determine his blood alcohol content.

Pruitt is charged with driving under the influence. Jail records did not show whether he's represented by an attorney.

According to the sheriff's office, Pruitt was hired in 1994 as a patrol deputy. He's been suspended pending an internal investigation.

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