Brookings fire chief arrested for driving under the influence

Local News

BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — One of Brookings top city officials is accused of breaking the law. Police arrested the city’s fire chief over the weekend for allegedly driving drunk.

Early Saturday morning, Brookings Police made a traffic stop. Behind the wheel of the car was Brookings Fire Chief, Darrell Hartmann.

On Friday, March 19, at 11:56 pm, Chief Darrell Hartmann was stopped by an officer of the Brookings Police Department for a traffic violation. Roadside tests were administered and Chief Hartmann was subsequently arrested for DUI. 

David Erickson, Brookings Chief of Police

“During the stop, law enforcement observed the odor of alcohol, they conducted field sobriety tests and, based on the officer’s observations, determined that there was probable cause to arrest Mr. Hartmann for driving while under the influence,” Nelson said.

State’s Attorney Dan Nelson says police brought Hartmann to the county jail and he was released on bond later that morning. Hartmann’s court date is set for April 26th.

“He’ll appear on that complaint, alleging that he committed driving under the influence,” Nelson said. “He’ll have an opportunity to plead guilty, not guilty, no contest at that initial hearing. If he pleads not guilty, there will be a jury trial that will be set.”

Nelson says despite Hartmann’s title this case will be handled just like any other DUI charge.

“There was an investigation done by the Brookings Police Department, I review that report, there will be a complaint filed, but that case will be handled just like all the other cases here at the State’s Attorney’s office,” Nelson said.

KELOLAND News reached out to Hartmann to see if he was willing to talk about what happened or release a statement. We have not heard back.

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