WCTV EXCLUSIVE: Corrections Officer Speaks About DUI Case

Leon County, FL - He attacked his wife and stepson and then crashed his vehicle driving drunk.

However, Brian Bland was able to keep his job as a Leon County Corrections Officer.

Bland destroyed his pick up truck in the November, 2005 crash in Gadsden County.

He was badly injured and was flown by helicopter to the hospital.

"I actually don't remember that day, that whole day is gone in my memory," said Bland.

However his family remembers it vividly.

Before the crash, a report obtained exclusively by Eyewitness News says Bland was taking nine different medications.

He says coupled with job stress, the drugs caused him to have erratic behavior.

The report goes on to say despite taking all those medications, Bland was drinking bourbon and fell asleep.

His wife Erin Bland says she noticed his normally locked gun cabinet was open, so she took his guns while he was sleeping.

"So just for peace of mind and the safety of the family that I needed to remove those because he was acting irrationally," said Erin.

The report says when Bland woke up and noticed his guns were gone, he grabbed his wife by the throat, leaving marks.

"The person that you take your vows with, you don't expect for them to put your hands around your neck," said Erin.

What was more troubling to Erin was when her son tried to call police, Brian punched him several times.

After taking off in his pick up truck, records show Bland's blood alcohol content at the time of his crash was .257, more than three times the legal limit to drive.

"Of course I was drinking, I couldn't sit here and provide you with an excuse," said Bland.

Following an internal investigation, records show a panel recommended Bland's dismissal from the Sheriff's Office.

However, Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell ultimately demoted Bland, cut his pay and put him in the employee assistance program.

That program had a series of steps Bland had to complete including alcohol/drug abuse treatment.

"The sheriff's department was gracious enough to give me a second opportunity and not everybody gets that," said Bland.

Bland pled guilty to two counts of misdemeanor public affray and one count of misdemeanor driving under the influence.

He received probation.

LCSO records show less than a year after his incident, Bland received an 11 percent pay raise.

It put him at the same salary level before his pay cut even though his drunk driving probation wasn't finished.

In early 2008, more than two years after his drunk driving crash, records show Bland satisfied the requirements of his probation.

But two years later in 2010, Bland was in trouble with the law again.

He was arrested for passing a worthless $150 dollar plus bank check at a local feed store.

The Sheriff's office suspended him for 32 hours and gave him six months probation.

"I firmly believe we had paid this and rectified it as soon as it was brought to our attention," said Erin.

Reporter: "Do you believe law enforcement officers should be held to a higher standard than the public?" Bland: "Definitely and I think we are."

Reporter: "Do you think you've been held to a higher standard?" Bland: "As you can see, I served this list is long of the things I had to do to get to this point in time and I think the department will stand behind me."

Bland tells us he's still in counseling. His entire family has also participated.

Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell declined our request for an interview.

However, through a spokesman, Sheriff Campbell said Bland's issues have been properly handled internally.


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