VBPD says county leader failed sobriety test

Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

VERO BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Police just released dash-cam video, they say, shows Indian River County Administrator Joe Baird failing several field sobriety tests.

Baird was cuffed and booked, but he's sticking to his defense saying he's not guilty. But Vero Beach police say, Baird was drunk behind the wheel.

We got our hands on the dash-cam video. In it police tell Baird to keep his leg up and count out loud.

According to the police report, Baird was pulled over after he was seen speeding and swerving down 21st Street in Vero Beach. The report also says officers smelled alcohol on his breath.

During the traffic stop, Baird was told to count backward from 41. He only made it to 30 before he fumbled. That's when the hand cuffs came out.

County Commissioner Gary Wheeler says the arrest has split the town. "Joe has a lot of people who like him and a lot of people who dislike him. Obviously, the one's who dislike him are looking for blood, and the ones who like him say give him a chance."

The case has been turned over to the State Attorney's Office.

Despite what police say and the video shows, Baird says he wasn't intoxicated during the traffic stop and was okay to drive. According to the police report, he did admit to having a few drinks.

Tuesday morning the Commission will meet and talk about the arrest. Baird's court date has been pushed back until the end of July.