PIQUA — UPDATE @ 3 p.m. (Sept. 3):
Sheri Duchak has pleaded not guilty to OVI charges filed in Miami County Municipal Court last week, according to court records.
The wife of an area sheriff is facing OVI charges.
Sheri Duchak was charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content greater than .236, according to an incident report from Piqua police.
Around 8:50 a.m., Piqua police at the park observed a woman, later identified as Duchak, drive across the center line of South Street and strike a curb. She then drove across the sidewalk, through the grass and over the parking lot curb, according to the report. Duchak also hit a grass island barrier with a concrete curb before pulling up to a police cruiser that was parked in the Pitsenbarger Park parking lot.
After a brief conversation with Duchak, the officer noted that she was confused and had bloodshot and glassy eyes.
During the incident, Duchak told the officer that her husband is the Miami County Sheriff and asked for the officer to call the Piqua Chief of Police, according to the report.
She continued to ask for the Piqua Chief of Police Bruce Jamison and state that her husband is the sheriff when asked if she would submit to a field sobriety test.
The report also states Duchak told the officer and another responding officer that they would lose their jobs. In an audio recording of the conversation, Duchak said, “the two of you are in peril.”
She was arrested for suspicion of OVI and taken to the police station for processing.
Once at the station, Duchak submitted a urine sample for testing. She was advised that pending the results of the test, charges could be brought forth, and that she was free to leave.
While waiting for a ride, Duchak reportedly spoke to the officer and thanked him for saving her. She said she had a substance abuse problem and that getting caught would allow her to get help, according to the report.
On Aug. 23, Piqua police received the results from Duchak’s urine test. Her blood alcohol content was .360, according to the report. This tested more than four times Ohio’s legal driving limit of 0.08.
Duchak’s license was suspended and charges were served via her attorney.
Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak released a statement Tuesday regarding his wife’s charges.
“I am saddened and disappointed to say the very least with the recent charge against my wife. I have full faith and confidence in the criminal justice system, and she, just like any other citizen will have to answer to that charge in a court of law,” it read. “Lastly, I would like to commend the Piqua Police Department for their professionalism in fulfilling their duties and responsibilities to the law and community.”
Jamison also said he was pleased by how his officers handled the incident.
“The guys know that’s not a get-out-of-jail-free card,” Jamison stated. “I talked to (the officers) later. I said, ‘Was there ever a moment where you thought I would expect you not to take those actions?’ And they said, ‘no.’ And I’m very proud of that.”
However, said it was “sad to see someone you’ve known for 25 years that is a part of a police family who has been in the police profession and you can see that they have a serious problem.”