Firefighter on Restricted Duty After Arrest

WHEELING – Fire Chief Larry Helms placed Lt. Paul McIntire on restricted duty Monday upon learning McIntire had been arrested for drunken driving over the weekend when he crashed his vehicle into a pole after leaving a bar.

Magistrate Patty Murphy arraigned McIntire, 45, of Wheeling on Sunday on a single count of DUI. He was released from the Northern Regional Jail in Moundsville after posting $500 bond.

Helms said McIntire will remain on restricted duty while an internal investigation into his arrest is being conducted by the department. The restricted duty status is a decrease in McIntire’s professional responsibility in proportion to his rank. Monday’s decision was made unilaterally by Helms, he pointed out.

The chief spoke to McIntire on Monday but declined to disclose any details from that conversation. The chief had yet to consult with City Manager Robert Herron, however, and Herron did not return calls seeking comment.

According to court documents, McIntire was behind the wheel around 2:45 a.m. Sunday when his car struck a pole on Cherry Hill Road in Clearview. McIntire reportedly told a sheriff’s deputy he was driving home from Bernie’s Bar and swerved to miss a deer in the roadway.

McIntire reportedly smelled of alcohol and his speech was slurred. He admitted to having four to five drinks at the bar prior to the wreck, court documents state. McIntire allegedly failed field sobriety tests at the scene and registered a blood-alcohol content higher than 0.08 percent, the legal limit for driving.

A preliminary hearing had not yet been scheduled Monday, nor had McIntire informed the court whether he had retained an attorney to represent him.