A Dunwoody police officer was arrested for driving under the influence on Wednesday.

Sgt. Robert Parsons, who works as the public information officer for the Dunwoody Police Department, was arrested on DUI charges on Jan. 26, according to records from the DeKalb County Jail. 

A press release from the police department states that Parsons was involved in a single vehicle crash on Sumac Drive in Dunwoody just before midnight on Jan. 25. Dunwoody officers responded to the scene and called the Georgia State Patrol to investigate once they realized Parsons was involved. According to the DPD press release, Parsons was off duty and driving his personal vehicle.

An incident report from the Georgia State Patrol states that Parsons struck a utility pole with his car, which Parsons said occurred because a group of deer crossed the road in front of him. The report also states that Parsons refused to perform a Standardized Field Sobriety Test at the scene. The responding officer then placed Parsons under arrest due to the “totality of the circumstances,” including that he could smell alcohol on Parsons’ breath and his speech was slurred.

Jail records state that Parsons was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (Less Safe) and Driving on Roadways Laned for Traffic. Parsons was previously arrested for a DUI on July 5, 2018. That arrest resulted in a two-year probation and required alcohol assessment. 

According to the DPD press release, the department has placed Parsons on administrative leave pending the outcome of an Internal Affairs investigation. Once the investigation is complete, the department is expected to schedule a hearing to determine disciplinary action. 

“As law enforcement officers, we are and should be held to the highest standards of conduct whether on or off duty,” said Chief Billy Grogan in the press release. “We will conduct a thorough investigation of this incident and the actions of our officer.” 

Parsons is currently incarcerated at the DeKalb County Jail. 

Update: According to Dunwoody spokesperson, Parsons resigned from the DPD on Jan. 27, effectively ending the internal investigation. The spokesperson said that the DPD notified the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, the group that is responsible for the certification and regulation of police officers in the state, that Parsons resigned while under investigation.

This article has been updated with information from a Georgia State Patrol incident report and the city of Dunwoody.

Sammie Purcell

Sammie Purcell is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers.