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Florida police: Secret Service officer caused traffic accident

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By The Washington Post
Friday, March 28, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

A Secret Service officer suspected of drinking caused a late-night traffic accident in South Florida just 12 hours before President Obama arrived on March 7 for an education speech and a long weekend with his family, according to a police report.

The 27-year-old counter sniper, Mathew Reyes, had a “slight odor” of alcohol on his breath, and a police officer who responded to the scene administered a field sobriety test, the report said.

“No detection of impairment was observed,” according to the report.

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper responding to the accident in Islamorada released Reyes after citing him for failing to yield to oncoming traffic and ultimately causing the accident. The police report released on Thursday provides new details about the incident.

A Secret Service spokesman acknowledged the accident when first asked about it by The Washington Post on Wednesday and said the officer involved was not given a Breathalyzer test. Instead, he was given a pen-eye test, in which drivers are asked to follow a pen with their eyes as the officer moves it in the air, the spokesman said.

Under Florida law, it is illegal for adults older than 21 to drive with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher.

Reyes and a second officer, who was in the car, were sent home early from Obama's trip on reporting the incident to superiors, officials said.

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said the two officers were sent home out of “an abundance of caution” because a police report had not been issued at that point.

He declined to say whether the officers were in violation of a rule forbidding any drinking within 10 hours of an assignment.

“There have been no personnel actions to date,” Donovan said. “There are ongoing investigations.”

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