Pinellas County

Pinellas County lieutenant fired after DUI arrest

LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) - A lieutenant for the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office was fired after being arrested for DUI.

The sheriff's office says 41-year-old Christi Ruhtz was a lieutenant with the Public Records Processing Unit before her arrest Sunday morning.

Pinellas deputies responded to the area of 130th Avenue and Wild Acres Road in Largo just before 1:50 a.m. after a concerned citizen called about a car honking its horn in a neighborhood.

Responding deputies say they found Ruhtz driving the car in reverse and honking its horn.

An arrest report states she had bloodshot, glassy and watery eyes as well as a "distinct odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from her mouth."

Deputies say Ruhtz performed poorly on field sobriety tests, then refused to submit a breath sample. Due to her employment with the sheriff's office, she was eventually required to submit to an administrative breath sample. The sheriff's office said it indicated she had a .14/.13 BAC.

Ruhtz was charged with one count of driving under the influence and was taken to the Pinellas County Jail.

Authorities say Ruhtz was hired by the sheriff's office on Dec. 21, 1998. She was immediately terminated after her arrest.


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