- PHOTO COURTESY OF ATASCADERO POLICE DEPARTMENT
- BUMMER FOR BOLTS : County Undersheriff Steve Bolts spent about an hour and a half in custody for suspected driving under the influence.
Bolts is the second of command to Sheriff Pat Hedges, who was also the “responsible adult” to pick him up from the Atascadero Police Department about an hour and a half following his arrest, said Police Chief Jim Mulhall.
“It’s our indication that—and it’s a preliminary assumption—that the undersheriff had been at a social event,” Mulhall said.
Though Mulhall wouldn’t disclose Bolts’ blood alcohol content, he said the undersheriff failed a field sobriety test and blood alcohol breath test. Bolts voluntarily submitted to a blood test at Twin Cities Community Hospital, the results of which are expected to take about a week.
Bolts could not be reached for comment as of press time.
The arrest came after an anonymous call to the police department’s dispatch administrative line, in which the caller identified Bolts as the undersheriff; gave the vehicle make, model, and license plate number; and said Bolts was driving under the influence with two small children. There were no children in the vehicle, Mulhall said, but the officer spotted the truck driving northbound on El Camino Real in Atascadero at about 8:40 p.m. and made the arrest.
After submitting his blood test, police released Bolts to Hedges with a citation, which is routine for DUI arrests that don’t involve further charges, Mulhall said. The district attorney hadn’t filed formal charges as of press time.
Sheriff’s Department Spokesman Rob Bryn said the department will treat Bolts “as if he were any other employee.”
Bolts is a contract employee. His current contract will expire on July 1 unless renewed. According to Human Resources Director Tami Douglas-Schatz, Hedges indicated in his proposed budget this year that he would renew Bolts’ contract for another year.
Bolts was on a pre-arranged vacation at the time of his arrest, Bryn said, though he couldn’t say when the undersheriff is expected to return to work. Meanwhile, the department is conducting a routine personnel investigation, but Bryn wouldn’t speculate on potential penalties.