A Murfreesboro fire captain was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence Friday after police allegedly spotted him spinning tires in the parking lot of PetSmart on Old Fort Parkway.
Forty-five-year-old Ralph A. Lehew, who serves as a captain for the Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue Department at Station 3 on Mercury Boulevard, has since been charged with a DUI first offense.
He is also facing one count of violation of the implied consent law in connection with the incident, according to a Murfreesboro Police Department arrest report filed by Officer Ricky Haley.
Lehew was arrested just before 3:30 a.m. after Haley responded to the 1700 block of Old Fort Parkway to assist Detective Ed Gorham with a vehicle stopped for reckless driving.
Gorham told Haley that he observed Lehew “spinning tires and cutting doughnuts in the parking lot of PetSmart,” according to the report.
“The vehicle then continued to spin tires on the access road leading to the IHOP parking lot,” Haley reported, adding he then made contact with Lehew, who appeared to be intoxicated.
“I requested him to exit the vehicle,” he reported, “and in doing so, he appeared to be unsteady on his feet. At this time, I explained and demonstrated field sobriety tasks to Lehew, and he agreed to attempt (the tests).”
After he failed to complete the tasks as demonstrated, Lehew was taken into custody and transported to the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center, where he later refused to take a blood test to determine the amount of alcohol in system.
Lehew was then booked into jail on the charges and held on a $1,500 bond.
He is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing in the case Tuesday, Feb. 26, in Rutherford County General Sessions Court.