South Bend
42° F

Charges filed against SBPD officer arrested for DUI

Published On: Dec 24 2013 11:29:30 AM CST   Updated On: Oct 22 2013 02:56:57 PM CDT

McKee // Photo provided


Formal charges were filed Tuesday against a South Bend Police officer accused again of drunk driving.

La Porte Circuit Court Judge Tom Alevizos found sufficient evidence to have Jeff McKee, 33, answer to a charge of Class D felony operating while intoxicated.

McKee of La Porte allegedly had a blood alcohol level of .15 percent Saturday night when he struck two telephone junction boxes on 350 East near Rolling Prairie.

He continues to be held without bond for a 15 day period due to his arrest occurring while he was still on probation, said La Porte County Police Jail Commander Capt. Mike Kellems.

McKee was on suspension from his job for a drunk driving arrest in October of 2012, when he was taken into custody again in La Porte County on allegations of operating while intoxicated in February.

He pleaded guilty in September to Class A misdemeanor OWI, and as part of the deal, enrolled in counseling.

Successful completion of counseling and no further arrests for one year would have meant the charge being dismissed, said La Porte County Prosecutor Bob Szilagyi.

Now, Szilagyi said there's a chance McKee could get some jail time if he's convicted because of the courts typically frowning at defendants failing to take advantage of opportunities to stay out of trouble.

''Everything doesn't work in his favor now,'' Szilagyi said.

McKee is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday.

According to La Porte County Police, an off duty officer after coming across the crash walked up to McKee still seated behind the wheel and detected an odor of alcohol.

McKee staggered after stepping out of his pick up truck, telling the officer he had a ''couple of beers,'' police said.

McKee also said he wasn't sure how the accident happened.

His vehicle sustained just minimal damage, according to police.