Former Saukville Officer Charged With OWI Heading to Plea Hearing
The Saukville Police Department officially accepted Jeffery Jiracek's resignation effective March 13, and his May jury trial date has now been changed to a plea hearing.
Former Saukville police officer Jeffery Jiracek, who faced a jury trial after pleading not guilty to charges of drunken-driving in February, is instead expected to appear in court for a plea hearing on May 23.
During that hearing, Jiracek would get the opportunity to change his "not guilty" plea and accept the charges without a trial. The hearing starts at 8:45 a.m.
Jiracek had been placed on paid leave after he rolled his vehicle Jan. 15 in the town of Belgium. He was arrested by the Ozaukee County Sheriff's Office for first offense of operating while intoxicated. His blood-alcohol content was later found to be 0.18, more than twice the legal limit.
The Saukville Village Board approved a resignation agreement March 13, but both village and police officials were reluctant to name the officer until he had signed the papers — something Police Chief Bill Meloy says has since happened.
"He's no longer a member of the Saukville Police Department. There's nothing for me to follow on it, because he’s no longer a member of the force," Meloy said, referring to an internal investigation into the incident which was closed following Jiracek's resignation. The Saukville Police Department is advertising to fill that position.
On the night of his arrest, Jiracek had finished his shift at 6 p.m., Meloy said. He then went to a bar in Port Washington, where the bartender later told Meloy she served him four to five beers and four to five mixed drinks, according to the Ozaukee County Sheriff's Department report.
Jiracek left the bar at about 9 p.m. to go to a bar in Belgium, according to the report, and was found about 20 minutes later next to his rolled-over SUV on County Highway LL.
From the track marks, police could see Jiracek had been traveling north when he crossed the oncoming lane and over the west shoulder into a field, hitting a ditch where he rolled over. Police reported strong odors of intoxicants on his breath, and arrested Jiracek for operating while intoxicated.
For a year following the offense, any OWI first-offender with a blood alcohol content greater than 0.15 can only drive vehicles equipped with an ignition interlock device.
Meloy said this would likely not have been feasible for the department to accommodate.
"I would not allow it to occur," Meloy said. "He wouldn’t be able to drive our squad cars. Can you imagine how cumbersome that would be?"