Breckinridge County Sheriff Todd Pate

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky State Police say the alcohol level for the Breckinridge County Sheriff was nearly twice the legal limit when he was arrested Friday after getting into a crash.

Breckinridge County Sheriff Todd Pate had an alcohol level of .159, according to an arrest report. This is based on a result from a breath test that was performed on Pate. Kentucky's legal level is .08.

Kentucky State Police say Pate was involved in an injury accident just before 6:35 p.m. CDT on KY 259 in Breckinridge County.

When police arrived at the scene, Pate was seen hiding beer bottles in a nearby wooded area.

An officer observed Pate standing near his truck. The officer was able to smell a "strong odor" of alcohol coming from Pate. Police say Pate had blood shot eyes, spoke with slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet.

Officials say the officer asked Pate to come to the back of a cruiser for a field sobriety test. The officer then told Pate to lean against the back of the cruiser, so that he would not fall into traffic. The officer then asked Pate if he could perform the balance part of the field sobriety test.

Police say Pate stated he could "give the directions but did not think he could perform them."

Pate was placed under arrest. Police say Pate requested to make contact with his attorney, and was allowed to call him. He also submitted to a breathalyzer test, and the result came back as .159. Pate was then taken to the Hardin County Detention Center. He's charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence.

Authorities say Pate was driving his personal vehicle, a 2018 Chevrolet pickup, at the time of the crash. He crashed into a car driven by a woman from Leitchfield. She was taken to Breckinridge County Memorial Hospital to be treated for injuries, but she's expected to recover.

Pate was previously arrested in October 2015 in a Waffle House parking lot in Bowling Green, and charged with DUI, reckless driving and terroristic threatening. He didn't spend any time in jail back in 2015, because his 30-day sentence was suspended. He paid an $800 fine instead.

"He got by with something you or I wouldn't have gotten by with," Gene Bennett, who lives in Breckinridge County said.

"How is that fair that the sheriff of the county, he's supposed to be leading by such a high example, how does he get to a keep his job and keep his gun?" Tim Mckellar, who also lives in Breckinridge County said.

"If it had been me or you, or anybody else we would have done jail time, lost our drivers license, probably lost our job and I think all he get was an $800 dollar fine, no jail time and came right back to work," Bennett said. "I think he needs to turn his Sheriff's badge over to one of his deputies."


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