Tallahassee, Florida- August 25, 2012
The Tallahassee Police Department said Brian Bess, the current Gretna Chief of Police, was arrested for DUI on Friday night after he failed field sobriety tests.
According to the probable cause affidavit, officers were called to Bess' home in Tallahassee on a report of an impaired driver. When the responding officer arrived on scene, he observed Bess backing out of a driveway on a motorcycle. The officer said Bess was not wearing a helmet or protective eye gear.
The responding officer made contact with Bess, and said Bess replied by saying, "yea, I'm drunk, take me to jail, I ain't blowing".
During his interaction with Bess, the responding officer said he observed Bess had bloodshot glassy eyes, had slightly slurred speech, and the officer detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath. The officer also said Bess was unable to establish the time of day or recall when he had consumed alcoholic beverages.
The affidavit says the officer asked Bess to participate in field sobriety exercises. It states that Bess agree ed. During the exercises, the officer said Bess seemed incoherent and no logical train of thought. The officer also said Bess was unable to maintain his balance during the exercises and missed the "finger to nose" on the first left command.
The officer placed Bess under arrest and says Bess became uncooperative when asked to repeat his name. He was brought to the Leon County Jail. During the transport, the officer said Bess was using profanity and was very argumentative.
The affidavit states Bess later refused to agree to consent to a breath test. The officer said Bess, said, "no, no, I ain't doing, I'm a police officer."
Bess was charged with DUI Alcohol or Drugs 1st Offense and non-moving traffic violations for operating a motorcycle without carrying his license, and not having a motorcycle endorsement.
This is not the first time Bess is in trouble with the law.
Bess was previously involved in a hit and run accident in Leon County. The accident happened back in November of 2011. The details on that incident are posted below.
[UPDATE] Gretna Police Chief Apologizes to LCSO After Lying About Crash
Click image to view slide show. Gretna PD Chief Cited for Lying After Crash
Brian Bess Issues Apology; Pictures Released
[UPDATE] Feb. 24, 2012 - 6:22pm
Eyewitness News has obtained a copy of an apology letter Gretna Police Chief Brian Bess wrote to Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell.
It's in response to a hit and run accident back in November in which Bess was cited for lying to law enforcement.
Bess was riding in the vehicle involved in the hit and run.
When police tracked the car down to arrest the driver, Bess told them they weren't involved.
In the apology letter Bess says: "My only intention that night was to prevent a bad situation for one of my life long friends, not to hinder your deputies from conducting a proper investigation: thinking with my heart instead of my head."
Gretna resident Francisco Chambers says, "He's a very good police out here in Gretna and this is a small town. He made a mistake and I don't feel like it was a big, big mistake."
Bess was cited with a misdemeanor traffic violation for lying to law enforcement.