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Officer of The Year Charged With Drunk Driving

Updated: Apr 27

Columbus Division of Police Sgt. Mel Romans, last year's Central Ohio Crime Stoppers Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, was arrested Sunday in Circleville for operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI), speeding, and a lane violation.

CPD Asst. Chief LaShanna Potts, Sgt. Mel Romans

According to a copy of the citation, an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper stopped Sgt. Romans at 1:24 Sunday morning near Northridge Road and Nicholas Drive. The trooper clocked Sgt. Romans' 2018 Chevy pickup truck traveling at 50 miles per hour in a 35.

An OSHP spokesperson said that Sgt. Romans agreed to take a breathalyzer test, but said the machine twice malfunctioned and the trooper was unable to obtain a sample. No other details are available at this time.

Melanie Amato, the Division's Public Relations Adviser, said that Sgt. Romans, 42, has been relieved of duty.

It's not Sgt. Romans' first OVI charge, according to Franklin County Municipal Court records.

In 2014, OSHP cited Romans with operating a vehicle under the influence and driving 63 in a 35. Sgt. Romans pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of physical control of a vehicle while impaired, and was fined $600.

It's the second time this year that a CPD officer has been arrested for operating a motor vehicle under the influence.

On January 3, OSHP troopers arrested CPD officer Trier Knieper, 27, and her friend, 26-year-old Paige Slyman, on OVI, drag racing and speeding charges.

Columbus Division of Police Officer Trier Knieper

Columbus Division of Police Sgt. Joe Albers, Executive Officer to Chief Elaine Bryant, said that the Franklin County Municipal Court dismissed officer Knieper's driver's license suspension, and she is "back to full duty." Officer Knieper has a motion hearing scheduled for April 24.

On February 9, Slyman pleaded no contest to OVI, speeding, and drag racing. Sentencing is scheduled for April 11.

The penalty for first-time OVI is up to six months in jail with a mandatory three days served. Your license can also be suspended for up to three years. However, the judge can waive the jail time and allow you to drive with limited privileges like going to work.

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