Hernando crossing guard ‘legally drunk' on the job; resigns - WFLA News Channel 8

Hernando crossing guard ‘legally drunk' on the job; resigns

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HERNANDO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

A Hernando County school crossing guard has resigned after deputies say he admitted to drinking before driving to work.

A sergeant with the Hernando County Sheriff's Office says he got a tip that Miguel Esteban, a crossing guard assigned to the Spring Hill Elementary School, may have reported to work Wednesday after drinking alcohol.

Officials said the sergeant met up with Esteban at his post on Wednesday afternoon, and noted a "strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from Esteban's breath".

Upon questioning, Esteban provided several different statements about how many drinks he had consumed during the day.  He first told the sergeant he had one earlier, then indicated he had a vodka drink after returning home from his morning post.  Then, the release states, Esteban said he had two mixed drinks around 11 AM, before driving to work.

Another crossing guard was summoned to the post to cross the children, while Esteban was taken to get a blood alcohol test. Officials say initial samples showed he had a .180 blood alcohol limit. A second sample taken 15 minutes later showed a .09.  Under Florida law, a person is considered intoxicated with a BAL of .08 or higher.

Investigators say once Esteban learned the results of the breath test, he said he may have drank more than he originally thought.

Esteban voluntarily resigned his position as a School Crossing Guard with the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis said, "School Crossing Guards are typically some of the most dedicated individuals I have met, especially when it comes to keeping our youngest citizens safe.  They are on duty when it is brutally hot and when it is pouring down rain.  It was very disappointing to learn that Mr. Esteban did not take his responsibility as seriously as his co-workers.  Fortunately, my supervisors acted quickly and were able to take decisive action before anything tragic happened to a young child."

Mr. Esteban was compelled, as an on-duty employee of the Sheriff's Office, to submit to a blood alcohol test, but the results are not admissible in criminal court.  Therefore, Mr. Esteban was not charged with driving a vehicle while under the influence.

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