Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell has fired a deputy after the Wake County Sheriff’s Office charged him with driving while impaired.
Just after 2 a.m. on Sept. 18, a Wake County deputy pulled over Eric David Hatch, 29, of McGee’s Crossroads at the corner of Western Boulevard and Dawson Street in downtown Raleigh, according to court documents.
The deputy charged Hatch with a DWI after he registered a blood-alcohol level of 0.11, which exceeds the legal limit of 0.08 in North Carolina. Hatch also faces a speeding charge for driving his 2014 GMC pickup at 48 mph in a 35 mph zone.
The morning before the incident, Hatch submitted a letter of resignation to the Johnston Sheriff’s Office in order to take a job with another law enforcement agency, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Tammy Amaon. When the department learned of the charges filed against Hatch in the early morning hours of Sept. 18, Sheriff Steve Bizzell opted to fire him that same day.
Shortly thereafter, Bizzell released a statement.
“Unfortunately, Mr. Hatch found himself on the wrong side of the law last night,” the sheriff said. “As long as I’m the ‘high-sheriff’ of Johnston County, deputies drinking and driving will not be tolerated.
“I want to commend the Wake County deputy for doing his job and enforcing the law in an effort to keep our roadways safe.”
Hatch joined the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office in January 2012, and he served as a patrol deputy for his entire tenure, Amaon said.
Hatch is scheduled to appear Nov. 18 in district court in Raleigh.