MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A North Bay Village police officer was suspended after he was reportedly caught drunk driving in his marked patrol car Wednesday night by Pembroke Pines police.
Police Sergeant James Stephen McVay was booked into the Broward County jail on a DUI charge around 4:30 a.m.
Thursday morning he bonded out. He faced a group of reporters waiting for him.
“Were you driving drunk?” a reporter said.
McVay told reporters that he had no comment on his arrest. However, the Pembroke Pines Police arrest report in the case speaks volumes.
Officers working traffic enforcement on US 27 on Wednesday night said they noticed a North Bay Village marked police car on the road “with its overhead emergency lights activated.” The vehicle was “traveling north in the southbound lanes of US 27.” The arresting officer said the driver “never left his lane but was obviously swerving.”
The Pembroke Pines police officer following the car noted in his report that “When I activated my siren he placed his hand outside the window and began to wave. I continued with my siren on and he gave me a thumbs out the window.”
When the patrol car finally pulled over into the center median, the driver, later identified as McVay, got out.
Pembroke Pines police say he was not in uniform and an officer had to grab McVay by the arm to steady him.
“The defendant had vomit on the chest of his shirt and his left rear lower leg area. The defendant’s eyes were glassy and his speech was slurred. He randomly stated that he was (expletive) up,” the arrest report noted.
Police also noted he smelled of alcohol. When Mcvay refused a roadside sobriety check, he was placed under arrest for DUI. He was taken to a Broward Sheriff’s Breath Alcohol Testing (B.A.T.) Unit where he refused to provide a breath sample.
In a statement, North Bay Village Police said that McVay had been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation.
“The NBVPD has zero tolerance for this offense nor any other criminal behavior. These actions are contrary to the values of the Police Department, and the entire Village. The Officer is being suspended from his duties, and an Internal Affairs investigation has already been initiated. This investigation will be handled expeditiously, and any further action deemed appropriate will be taken once the Internal Affairs case is closed.”
CBS 4 News dug into McVay’s law enforcement background. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, McVay has bounced around between different law enforcement agencies in South Florida since becoming an officer in 1990. He was terminated from North Bay Village in 2011 for violating moral character standards. The Village rehired him less than two years later.
For the same offense, McVay was disciplined by the Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission in 2015 for a charge of Perjury by Contradictory Statements. He was suspended for 30 days, given a year probation and completed ethics training.
CBS4 was also told that McVay was suspended for two days in 2017 for drinking during Hurricane Irma.