Former Pierre Police officer receives suspended jail time on 1st Offense DUI charge

PIERRE, S.D.(DRGNews)- A former Pierre Police officer arrested for a first offense Driving Under the Influence in March was sentenced Thursday in Hughes County Court.

Judge Tara Adamski denied Jeremiah Erickson’s request for a suspended imposition of sentence, but she did suspended 188 days of jail time providing Erickson successfully completes certain conditions. Among those requirements are paying roughly $550 in fines and court costs, being a law abiding citizen for one year and doing a chemical dependency evaluation.

Erickson’s attorney said his client was severely injured while serving as a police officer in Minnesota and is getting counseling for anxiety and PTSD issues. He said the incident was a “low point” in Erickson’s life.

Throughout the course of his case, Erickson admitted to four violations of the twice daily breathalyzer tests required by the 24-7, once while wearing his police uniform. Adamski said Erickson asked colleagues to make exceptions to the 24-7 program rules, putting them in a “tough spot.”

The prosecutor from the Attorney General’s Office was not in favor of giving Erickson a suspended imposition of sentence saying law enforcement officers should be held to a higher standard. Between that and the 24-7 violations, Adamski said it would not serve the public well to grant the request. She did say a suspended imposition of sentence may be issued down the road, but Erickson must prove to the Court that he’s earned it.

Erickson must also complete a court mandated evaluation and treatment program. He was also sentenced to 40 hours of community service, which he’s already completed.

The arrest happened after Erickson reported being in a car versus deer crash near the intersection of Garfield and Wells Avenues. At the time of his arrest, Erickson’s blood alcohol test came back at .217%, or more than twice the legal limit.

Because Erickson was a police officer at the time, the Hughes County Sheriff’s Office and the state Division of Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation into the incident. The Attorney General’s Office handled the prosecution.