A Madison firefighter is scheduled to appear in court next week to face a driving under the influence charge after he drove a fire truck to an emergency call early Saturday morning.
Scott A. Johnson was arrested at the Madison fire station after he drove a fire truck back from the scene of the emergency call. Madison firefighters had responded at about 2:30 a.m. to an automatic alarm at Falcon Plastics, 605 S.W. 7th St.
Fire Chief Jerry Johnson said Scott Johnson, 42, had driven the fire truck to Falcon Plastics where it was soon determined that the call was a false alarm. The plant's fire alarm had activated when its sensors read water flow in the building's sprinkler system. A second fire truck was sent back to the station while it was en route to the scene.
Chief Johnson said more than a dozen firefighters had gone to the Madison manufacturing plant in response to the call. Firefighters checked the building and verified the false alarm.
A Madison police officer was also dispatched to the scene of the false alarm. The officer suspected that Johnson was under the influence and followed the fire truck back to the station.
At the fire station, the officer gave Johnson a breathalyzer test and arrested him on a DUI charge. He was later released on a personal recognizance bond on the condition that he appear in court.
Lake County States Attorney Ken Meyer filed court documents on Tuesday charging Johnson with driving a vehicle with a prohibited blood alcohol level of 0.08 or greater. The charge was listed as Johnson's first DUI.
A first DUI conviction is classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or up to a $2,000 fine. The person's license to drive is also revoked for at least 30 days.
The court papers also listed an alternative count of driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. That charge is also classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Johnson's first court appearance was set at 9 a.m. on Sept. 16.
Chief Johnson said Scott Johnson was placed on suspension until his court case is resolved. The fire chief also said the department has a policy in place that deals with the subject of alcohol and substance abuse.
"It addresses the issue with disciplinary action," he said.
According to Chief Johnson, Scott Johnson has served as a volunteer firefighter with the Madison Fire Department for numerous years, possibly as long as a decade.