Sheriff lieutenant caught driving in reverse, a horn for ‘unknown reason’

Christi Ruhtz was fired from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, shortly after her arrest.

(Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office)

A Florida sheriff’s lieutenant was arrested and accused of driving under the influence Sunday after deputies found her driving her vehicle in reverse and honking her horn.

The Tampa Bay Times, quoting from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department, reported that the 41-year-old Christi Ruhtz was fired from the department after her arrest. The paper reported that Ruhtz was first hired by the department in December 1998 and worked in the Public records Processing Unit at the time of her arrest.

Christi Ruhtz blew 0.14 and 0.13 on a breathalyzer when she was stopped early Sunday.


Authorities say a Largo resident called the police shortly before 2 pm, and Sunday to report that a car honk its horn. Ruhtz was the only person in the vehicle when deputies arrived.

It was not immediately clear why Ruhtz was honking her horn or reversing at the time.

Ruhtz was first hired by the sheriff’s office in December 1998.


The sheriff’s office said at the Time that Ruhtz’s eyes were bloodshot and glassy. The delegates also said that they did poorly on the field sobriety tests and a breathalyzer test showed blood alcohol levels of 0.14 and 0.13. The legal limit under Florida law is 0.08.

According to the Times, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office was busy with a DUI crackdown on Saturday in addition to the local police. Twelve drivers were charged during the effort.

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