DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Rickey Stokes, owner of Rickey Stokes News, has been suspended from his chief of staff position with the Houston County Emergency Management Agency.
According to Commission Chairman Mark Culver, Stokes was placed on administrative leave with pay Monday, pending an investigation.
A Florida Highway Patrol report states that Stokes was arrested in Washington County on a misdemeanor driving under the influence charge on June 6.
The state trooper who stopped Stokes said he spotted him swerving on State Road 77 near Crystal Lake Drive. An alert had already put out on the car, a white Ford Crown Vic Sedan with no license plate, which had already hit a barricade.
The car in question was a county-owned vehicle meant for Cottonwood Rescue. Stokes told the trooper that he was taking it back to Houston County from Geneva County after getting it painted, but the trooper wrote that Stokes was 30 miles off route and headed away from Dothan.
In his report, the trooper wrote that a “strong odor” of alcohol from Stokes and his car, but the breathalyzer test showed a reading of 0.051 and 0.047, below the 0.08 limit.
However, Florida state law determines DUI by the extent of how impaired your normal senses are by the substance. In both the walk and turn and standing leg tests, Stokes had trouble maintaining his balance and counting as instructed by the trooper.
The vehicle was towed by a rotation wrecker.
Culver also said the county vehicle Stokes had been using is no longer in his possession.