LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY – A Louisville Metro Police officer who was suspended after being arrested for drunk driving Sunday has lost his license for a month after pleading guilty Friday.
Sgt. Jeffrey Wheeler, 42, entered a guilty plea to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, first offense. His attorney, Brian Butler, entered the plea on Wheeler’s behalf Friday. A charge of reckless driving was dropped.
Wheeler was sentenced to 30 days in jail, 26 of which were conditionally discharged. Wheeler will serve three days on home incarceration and was given credit for one day he spent in jail.
Wheeler also agreed to pay court costs and fines and will lose his license for 30 days, court records show. He will also be required to attend an alcohol education program.
Butler said his client wanted to respond quickly to the charges against him and opted to plead guilty.
“He is one of the best police officers I’ve ever worked with,” said Butler, who used to be a prosecutor on homicide cases. “I think this will be a blip on the radar.”
Wheeler remains on paid administrative leave with his police powers suspended.
The police department’s professional standards unit is now investigating his arrest to determine if he violated any department policies.
Wheeler, who has been on the department since 1996, was arrested about 2:45 a.m. Sunday after an officer in the 6th Division witnessed the car Wheeler was driving weaving and nearly striking parked cars on Peabody Lane.
Wheeler was given a field sobriety test, which he failed. His blood alcohol level registered at 0.205, more than twice the legal limit.