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Animal control officer charged with DUI while on duty

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By Ben Carlson

The county's animal control officer was charged Tuesday afternoon with DUI while on duty at the county animal shelter.

Darrell Waldridge, 50, of 206 Center St., Lawrenceburg, had a blood alcohol level of .171, nearly twice the legal limit, according to an arrest report obtained from the Anderson County Sheriff's Department.

Anderson County Sheriff Troy Young, who made the arrest along with Deputy Robbie Armstrong, said Waldridge was arrested at the animal shelter while standing beside his personal vehicle. Young said he and Armstrong interviewed others at the shelter and their preliminary investigation revealed that Waldridge had not driven a county vehicle that day. He said the animal control vehicle was not at the shelter at the time of the arrest.

Waldridge admitted that he had been drinking that day, saying he drank a half-pint of vodka at lunch, according to the arrest report.

He told officers that he then drove to the animal shelter, adding that he had not had a drink since he had been at the shelter, according the arrest report.

He was arrested at 2:15 p.m., according to the report.

Young said Waldridge failed a field sobriety test, was arrested and taken directly to Franklin County Regional Jail.

He was released from jail about 8:30 p.m., according to a report issued by the jail.

Young said his office was alerted by an off-duty deputy to Waldridge's condition.

"We took a call from an off-duty deputy and went out to the shelter to locate [Waldridge]," Young said. "He was standing near his vehicle and, after investigating, we arrested him for DUI."

Anderson County Judge-Executive Steve Cornish confirmed Wednesday afternoon that Waldridge has been fired.

"We have a zero tolerance drug and alcohol policy," Cornish said.

Waldridge worked at the animal control shelter for about six months, serving the past three as animal control officer, Cornish said.