Crime

Key West fire official suspended following DUI arrest

The Florida State University football team won Saturday but Key West Fire Department Division Chief/Fire Marshal Daniel Blanco Jr. didn't.

Blanco was suspended Monday for 10 days following his arrest on a misdemeanor drunk-driving charge around 10:20 p.m. Saturday at 2508 N. Roosevelt Blvd. He told Officer Alexander Rodriguez Jr. he had "three to four" beers at Conch Town, a bar on North Roosevelt Boulevard, during the Florida State-Florida game, according to an arrest report.

After leaving the bar, Blanco, 42, decked in Seminoles apparel, was driving his green 2008 Toyota Tundra pickup west. Officer Brian Leahy had pulled Blanco over because the truck's headlights weren't on.

Leahy smelled alcohol coming from Blanco and asked him if he'd been drinking. He said no but later told Rodriguez about the "three to four" Bud Lights.

"I also observed Blanco's breath to be slurred and his eyes to be glassy/bloodshot," Leahy wrote in a report.

Blanco told Leahy he was a city firefighter and "didn't want to go through all of this stuff." He just wanted to park his truck and go home, but Leahy said no.

Blanco refused to do field sobriety exercises, Rodriguez wrote in his report. Blanco's wife Amanda and cousin Michelle arrived to retrieve the truck.

On the 10-day suspension, which started Tuesday, five days are unpaid while the other five days are paid on administrative leave, according to Key West spokeswoman Alyson Crean.  Blanco, who has been with the city since 1992, makes $86,436.90 annually. He did not return a phone call seeking comment Tuesday. 

According to the Monroe County jail records, Blanco was released from custody at 1:15 p.m. Sunday. Arraignment information wasn't available.

  Comments