Winooski cop sentenced for DUI - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Winooski cop sentenced for DUI

Burlington, Vermont - September 29, 2011

Officer Jason Nokes is no stranger to courtrooms. But he isn't typically sitting in the defendant's seat. The 40-year-old Winooski police officer-- with nearly two decades on the job-- is facing a DUI charge.

"I have never seen a case that was .429 percent," Vt. Superior Court Judge Alison Arms said.

That's more than five times the legal limit. According to police paperwork, a Vermont state trooper found Nokes' truck in the median on Interstate 89 still running, with Nokes slumped over in the driver's seat. There was an open beer can in his cup holder and the trooper could barely wake him up.

"Your honor, as I stand here today I'm willing to accept full responsibility for my actions and my behavior," Nokes said.

Rather than go to trial, Nokes admitted his wrongdoing. "I plead guilty your honor."

...And struck a deal with prosecutors; one to three months in prison all suspended with six months probation. A deal the judge declined.

"Right now, knowing what I know, I think that a longer term is necessary," the judge said.

Judge Arms would not approve the plea agreement until the state upped Nokes' probationary period to one year.

"My concern is that for someone who has such a high test, it indicates to me that this is not a problem for Mr. Nokes that was created on the day of the incident," the judge said.

Nokes apologized to his family, the court and the citizens of Winooski. He said it took a crisis to realize he had a serious problem with alcohol.

"I think deep down I've known that I've had an issue for a long time, unfortunately, it took my arrest to determine that. I am filled with great shame and a lot of guilt today," Nokes said.

Nokes has been on paid administrative leave since August. He checked himself into a rehab program just days after this incident occurred. His employment status is now being reviewed by the Winooski city manager.

Related Story:

Winooski cop busted for DUI after passing out on I-89

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