A Gainesville police corporal pleaded no contest in Alachua County Circuit Court to a charge of driving under the influence.
Cpl. Scott Bertzyk, 46, rear-ended a car on Newberry Road in the early morning hours of Jan. 1, according to a Gainesville Police Department arrest report, causing at least $8,000 in damage. No injuries were reported.
On July 30, Bertzyk pleaded no contest to one count of driving under the influence with property damage – a first degree misdemeanor. Bertzyk must pay nearly $1,000 in fines and court costs.
The Gainesville police officer who arrived at the crash site on New Year’s Day said Bertzyk, who was off-duty at the time, showed clear signs of intoxication.
“While investigating the crash, I observed the defendant was having difficulty maintaining balance; he was also slurring his words and had difficulty physically grasping his drivers license,” Bertzyk’s arrest report reads.
After failing multiple field sobriety tests and being found to have a blood alcohol content over twice the legal limit, Bertzyk admitted to Gainesville police that he drank Bicardi rum and Diet Coke prior to the accident.
Lake City resident Tevin Gardner told WUFT News he was parked at a red-light when Bertzyk suddenly slammed into his car. While waiting for police to arrive, Gardner said he realized Bertzyk was intoxicated – he smelled alcohol and saw beer cans littered around Bertzyk’s car.
Gainesville Police Department spokesperson Graham Glover declined to comment on the case, citing a pending internal affairs investigation.
Bertzyk is still employed by the Gainesville Police Department, but has been stripped of his police powers and placed on administrative duty since his arrest.