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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,  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  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?"

Greg April 25, 2012 at 09:10 PM
I guess this shows even a cop can make a mistake.
William Paul Braby April 25, 2012 at 09:30 PM
A mistake can be made by any of us. I have been there and can not judge anyone. This does not make u a bad person just a moment of poor judgement and that is all it takes sometimes
Jaime Sommers April 26, 2012 at 02:35 PM
That's a sad an unflattering photograph. Does anyone have a better one? Everyone does make mistakes. It's really hard though, for a lof of people when those who are making the red marks against the rest of us make an error that seems preventable with a little pre-planning and listening to one's own advice. Drunk driving is preventable. Drinking 10-12 drinks in less than 3 hours is preventable. Yes, he's human and humans make mistakes. The reasoning becomes challenging to have compassion on law enforcement when law enforcement breaks the law after making a series of preventable pre-plannable decisions. No one is screaming to nail him to the cross, however, the public does have a right to be quite disappointed and maybe even frustrated, if indeed they even are. This is not just a common citizen and is a special situation, so it will receive some unique attention and that's no fault of the public. That's the nature of being law enforcement and having that honor and being a public servant. Perhaps this accident brought a situation to light to theoretically or actually prevent an even larger tragedy and loss, and that is a good thing.
jackie April 26, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Being a public servant especially a police officer, should lead by example of the law. This was a preventable decision that he chose to ignore. I also understand everyone makes mistake, however how do we know that this wasn't the first time? He just got caught.
Terry April 26, 2012 at 11:59 PM
If it were not for his profession, I would agree about everyone making mistakes. But our cops are the ones that we rely on to enforce these laws. I expect them to know better and be more careful in their actions. They should be held to a higher standard.
Ellen May 02, 2012 at 10:25 PM
What in the world were you thinking Jeff. My father was a policeman and us kids were held very accountable for our actions. I can tell you, we never did anything to make our Dad ashamed of us. Jeff had wanted to be a policeman so very badly, what happened to you. Are you having marriage problems? We know the whole family very well. How ashamed they must be of him. Yes, I agree that is a terrible picture of Jeff.

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