Burlington Deputy Police Chief Andi Higbee Arrested for DUI | Off Message

Burlington Deputy Police Chief Andi Higbee Arrested for DUI

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Updated below with comment from Burlington Police Chief Michael Schirling and Vermont State Police spokesperson Stephanie Dasaro.

Burlington's deputy police chief was allegedly caught in a state police dragnet looking for drunk drivers early Sunday.

Vermont State Police issued a press release Sunday saying Andi Higbee, 44, was stopped around 12:09 a.m. while driving off-duty in the town of Sheldon for failing to use a turn signal while turning from Casino Road onto VT Route 105. He was investigated for operating under the influence, the release said, and subsequently arrested.

Higbee was transported to the St. Albans barracks for processing and was later released on a citation to appear in Franklin County Superior Court on August 12.

Burlington Police Chief Michael Schirling responded to the arrest in a press release. "Earlier this morning I was made aware that Deputy Chief Andi Higbee had been pulled over just after midnight by the State Police in St. Albans and subsequently processed for DUI. DC Higbee has been placed on paid administrative leave.

"No additional detail is available or expected today [while] we work to gather information regarding this personnel matter," Schirling added in the release.

The state police press release did not indicate Higbee's blood alcohol content. The Burlington Free Press reported Sunday that Higbee previously pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in 1999.  

Stay tuned to Off Message for updates on this story.

Update - Monday, 1:30 p.m.

Chief Schirling said Monday that he is hiring an outside investigator to conduct an internal review of Higbee's arrest to determine whether it violated departmental policies. Schirling said he has not selected the investigator yet, but hopes to by day's end.

Meanwhile, state police have still not released Higbee's blood-alcohol content. VSP spokesperson Stephanie Dasaro said Monday her agency generally does not release that information, though she admitted it has done so in the past. She said in this case it would not be released before Higbee is arraigned next month.

She also would not discuss whether Higbee had been served a notice of civil suspension, which if he had, would indicate that his breath test registered a BAC above .08, the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle. It is possible to blow under a .08 and be charged criminally, if there is other evidence of intoxication. But civil suspensions require a suspect blew .08 or higher. 

File photo of Andi Higbee by Andy Bromage

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