Anti-DUI leader accused of drunken driving
STACEY MULICK; The News Tribune
Tuesday, October 19th, 2004 12:01 AM (PDT)
The woman who’s been the driving force behind Pierce County’s fight against drunken drivers for several years was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
A Washington State Patrol trooper arrested Sheri Badger, 36, shortly after 1 a.m. Oct. 9 after stopping her along Pacific Avenue South in Parkland for going more than 50 mph in a 35 mph zone, State Patrol spokesman Johnny Alexander said.
“The trooper went up to the car, noticed an obvious odor of alcohol and suspected Sheri to be impaired,” Alexander said.
Badger, the coordinator of the Tacoma-Pierce County DUI Task Force, reportedly failed field sobriety tests and was taken into custody on suspicion of drunken driving. She performed a breath test, which gauges a person’s blood alcohol level, but Alexander did not release the findings of the test because no charges have been filed in the case. The state’s legal limit is .08.
Badger was released to a friend. Deputy prosecutor Kevin Benton said a decision on whether charges would be filed against Badger will be made today.
Badger said she voluntarily stepped down from her position with the task force effective Monday. As the Pierce County employee responsible for the task force, she organized the task force’s monthly DUI emphasis patrols. She’s been reassigned to public information duties in the Pierce County Human Services Department.
“I feel fortunate that nobody was hurt,” she said Monday. “It goes to show it can happen to anyone.”
Bonney Lake Police Chief Bryan Jeter, chairman of the task force, said Badger has been a motivator in the task force’s efforts.
“I’d hate to see it taint all the work she’s done,” he said. “She’s really worked her tail off for the DUI Task Force and a lot of positive things have come out of it because of her work.”
Jeter said no interim coordinator has been appointed. Whether she’ll be allowed to return to the task force remains unclear.
“We’ve got to look long term and what is best for the task force needs to be considered,” Jeter said.