Off-duty IMPD officer accused of drunk driving

Update: Lt. Steve King pleaded guilty to operating while intoxicated on May 2, 2017. According to his plea agreement, he won't spend any additional time in jail, but he will be on probation for 361 days. His driver's license will also be suspended 90 days.

Original story below:

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- A veteran IMPD officer is suspended with pay following his arrest on an alcohol-related charge.

Lt. Steve King reportedly tested at .255% blood alcohol content, three times above the legal limit to drive, when he was arrested in his personal car at a north side restaurant Wednesday night.

IMPD Chief Bryan Roach said he was “disappointed” with the officer's arrest.

“This is a difficult job and some of our officers choose different ways of handling the stress,” said Roach. “We have a lot invested in him. He has a lot of experience and we want him on the police department.”

IMPD’s most tragic encounter with officers driving drunk was the death of a motorcyclist and the injuries of two others when the trio was rammed by the patrol car of Officer David Bisard while on duty in 2010.

Bisard was convicted in 2013 of drunken driving and sentenced to 13 years in prison, but he’ll likely be released from custody later this spring.

Since that time, IMPD has emphasized its employee counseling program for officers dealing with stress.

“We have a nationally recognized office of professional health and wellness that we thought was making great strides and it allows our officers who are struggling to afford them an opportunity to get some help,” said Roach. “This is a difficult job and some of our officers choose different ways of handling the stress.”

King could face a 30-day department suspension in addition to any criminal sentence if convicted.