Terrebonne deputy draws DWI ticket

A Terrebonne Parish deputy was cited for a misdemeanor DWI charge Sunday, after being stopped in Houma by a state trooper for allegedly not wearing a seat belt.

Tara Whitney, a Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office lieutenant who works as a juvenile officer, was stopped at 6:22 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of LA. Highway 24 South and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, said Trooper First Class Jesse LaGrange, a state police spokesman.

Whitney, who was alone in the 2007 Jeep Wrangler, allegedly evinced signs of impairment, said LaGrange. The trooper had her perform a field sobriety test. She was taken to Louisiana State Police Troop C where a breathalyzer test was performed.

The deputy received a misdemeanor summons for the DWI and for having an open container in the vehicle. She was picked up at the troop barracks by a relative.

Law enforcement sources said officers have discretion under certain circumstances to issue a summons. But Whitney will still have to be booked at the Terrebonne Parish jail.

Major Malcolm Wolfe, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said how employment status is handled in such misdemeanor cases can vary depending on the individual case.

Evaluations are underway to determine how the Sheriff’s Office will respond.

LaGrange said that Whitney was cooperative and courteous throughout the process.

Louisiana State Police