DMV office closes early due to intoxicated examiner
Phillip D. Patten, a driver’s examiner with the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles, was cited with willful reckless driving by the Perkins County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday, July 30, after it was discovered he was intoxicated while working.
Patten, 59, of Gering, arrived late to open the DMV Driver Licensing Office at Perkins County Courthouse, which is open every other Tuesday in Grant.
Around 10:15 a.m., a PCSO deputy investigated after a citizen reported Patten’s potentially intoxicated behavior to the PC Treasurer’s Office.
The Nebraska DMV of Lincoln also called PCSO after receiving reports from citizens of possible intoxication.
The DMV asked PCSO to administer a breath test to check Patten’s blood alcohol content, which Patten consented to voluntarily.
The breath test results were 0.086. The legal limit for driving is 0.08.
After discussion with the Perkins County Deputy Attorney, Patten was charged with willful reckless driving. He was not cited with a DUI because he wasn’t observed driving, but law enforcement had probable cause to believe he drove from Ogallala to Grant while intoxicated.
PCSO closed and secured the DMV office and transported Patten to where he had stayed in Ogallala the night before.
The state-owned 2013 Dodge Caravan he drove to Grant will remain secured in the Perkins County Courthouse parking lot until it is picked up by the Nebraska DMV sometime next week.
Patten’s arraignment will be held Aug. 21 at 1 p.m. in Perkins County Court.