Local News

Highway Patrol Fires Sergeant After DWI Arrest

Posted October 3, 2007 4:46 p.m. EDT
Updated October 4, 2007 10:06 a.m. EDT

— Extending a string of state Highway Patrol officers being fired or disciplined for conduct-related issues, the patrol has fired another state trooper, officials announced Wednesday.

First Sgt. John Warren was charged with driving while impaired on Sept. 9 in Nash County.

He was placed on leave following his arrest, and patrol officials fired him Tuesday. Warren was a 19-year veteran of the force and was stationed in Raleigh.

Troopers arrested Warren after they were contacted about an argument between him and a woman at her home. When troopers arrived at the residence, they determined Warren had driven there while impaired.

They arrested him on suspicion of drunken driving. Breath tests showed he had a blood-alcohol content level of 0.13. The legal limit is 0.08.

Warren’s firing comes a week after Gov. Mike Easley called for a review of the hiring and screening process and supervisory procedures of the Highway Patrol.

In September, the agency fired one trooper who targeted young women for late-night traffic stops and another who abused a police dog in a training exercise. A third trooper resigned after two women said he forced them to kiss him, and a fourth was dismissed for undisclosed reasons.

Troopers have to submit to a polygraph test, background check and psychological testing to get hired. Michael McGuinness, the attorney for the North Carolina Troopers Association, said he welcomes a review of the hiring process and said he hopes to provide input.

Between five and 12 troopers were fired each year from 2003 through 2006.