Ohio resident Tiffany Wilson is back on the job as a State Highway Patrol trooper after an arbitrator ruled that firing her was a severe punishment for a first-time DUI offender. Wilson was arrested in February of 2012, driving home from an off-duty party where she drank three beers and took as many as five shots. Wilson was also driving 100 mph at the time of her arrest.
The arbitrator ruled that Wilson be reinstated to her position, including back pay. The back pay would not include the 90-day unpaid suspension she would have served. The troopers union argued that Wilson had already paid enough following her DUI, where she blew a .16 on her breathalyzer test. Wilson, after being convicted, paid a $577 fine, and a license reinstatement fee of $475. She also attended a three day driver intervention course, that cost her $275, and she was also responsible for her $5000 attorney fees.
The arbitrator ruled that Wilson could return to work, but would work under a “last-chance” agreement, and can be fired for any work violation. Wilson must also submit to random drug and alcohol testing, at her expense. The arbitrator also added that Wilson was to be reinstated because her termination was inconsistent with the punishments of other troopers who had received DUIs. Wilson’s punishment was steeper because just two days before her DUI, the patrol implemented a zero-tolerance policy for DUI convictions. The troopers’ union was entitled to a two week notice, so the change was invalid in Wilson’s case.