EUGENE, Ore. — The City of Eugene prosecutor is on administrative leave Monday, accused of driving under the influence this weekend.
A Eugene Police officer pulled over Daniel Barkovic, 60, near Valley River Center Sunday morning. Police say he refused to take a breath alcohol test.
EPD says people do have the right to refuse to take a Breathalyzer; but for Barkovic, it could mean more potential penalties down the road and a year without a license.
Police say around 2:30 a.m. Sunday an officer pulled over Barkovic for multiple traffic violations, including speeding and failure to drive within a lane. Since Barkovic is a city employee, the officer called in Oregon State Police to conduct the DUII investigation. Barkovic was taken into custody, but refused a Breathalyzer.
Springfield Police Sergeant Mike McCarthy says refusing to take the test could mean more penalties.
“If they take the test and pass it there’s no sanctions on their driver’s license. If they take the test and fail it, they’re suspended for 90 days and if they refuse, they can be suspended up for a year,” Sgt. McCarthy said.
Sgt. McCarthy says there are two legal process involved in a situation like this: criminal and administrative.
“It’s a totally administrative thing through the DMV because when they issue you a driver’s license, part of the implied consent is that you will take a breath test when asked. And if you don’t take that breath test, DMV will take your license back,” Sgt. McCarthy said.
Sgt. McCarthy says the criminal investigation into whether someone is charged with a DUII is entirely separate. So there’s potential for the driver’s license to be taken away for refusing the test, but be innocent of the DUII charges.
“It’s a voluntary thing and we cannot influence them one way or the other to blow or not to blow,” Sgt. McCarthy said.
City leaders, including the mayor, would not comment on the incident. Oregon State Police, who is heading the investigation, also declined an interview.
Barkovic is on administrative leave, and the incident is awaiting pending prosecution.