PORTLAND — A Maine State Police sergeant who pled guilty this morning to drunk driving  had a blood alcohol content of 0.14 percent, prosecutors say.

Robin Parker, who was pulled over by another state trooper on the Maine Turnpike Dec. 18, appeared in Cumberland County court in Portland this morning to answer the charge. Parker pled guilty before Judge Richard Mulhern and was fined $500 and had his license suspended for 90 days.

Parker also was suspended from the State Police starting today for two months without pay and was demoted from sergeant to trooper.

A person is guilty of drunk driving if their blood alcohol content is 0.08 or higher. Having a blood alcohol content of 0.15 is an aggravating factor which requires a minimum two days in jail.

Accompanied by his attorney, Jonathan Goodman, Parker gave a brief statement after his plea.

“All I would want to say is I came here today to take responsibility for my actions and I look forward to moving ahead,”  he said.

Goodman said he explored possible defense strategies but opted not to pursue them. “In the end we decided this was what was best in the big picture,” he said. “Typically, defendants in these cases are just really considering the criminal implications. He also had professional implications that had to be considered as well.”

Parker will be suspended without pay and without benefits for 60 days and then will be assigned to a desk job for 30 days, said Col. Robert Williams, chief of the State Police. Williams said he thought the punishment appropriate given the seriousness of the misconduct as well as Parker’s good record over 17 years with the agency.
 
“Some people would clsassify this a victimless crime but when you look at the potential, what the outcome could have been, the outcome can be very traumatic,” Williams said. “Every day we go out and try to prevent this from happening. We end up cleaning up the result of it. Sometimes those results are deadly.”
 
With surcharges, Parker’s fine was effectively $610, which Parker paid after his appearance.

In 2010, Parker earned $61,266 as a State Police sergeant in salary plus $13,998 in overtime and had a stipend of $3,898, according to the website MaineOpenGov.org. A loss of two months pay – one sixth his total annual pay  that year – would equal $13,194.

Benefits, like insurance and retirement contributions, were valued at $19,890 in 2010 by the website, one sixth of which would be $3,315.

Parker must complete the state Driver Education and Evaluation Program course in order to get his license reinstated.

Cumberland County District Attorney Stephanie Anderson said the penalties offered to Parker in court are the same as would be offered to any person who faced their first charge of operating under the influence.

Parker was pulled over after a motorist called police to complain about an erratic driver, police said. He was not arrested but was processed and issued a court summons by another state trooper on the misdemeanor OUI charge.
 

9:30 a.m.

Maine State Police Sgt. Robin Parker pleaded guilty to drunk driving this morning in Portland District Court.

Parker was pulled over on the MaineTurnpike last month by another trooper after a motorist called police to report an erratic driver.

Parker’s plea means he will lose his license for 90 days and pay a fine of $500.

Parker also is subject to an internal investigation which could lead to a demotion and suspension without pay. Parker is now on leave without pay.

Parker’s case also will be reviewed by the Maine Criminal Justice Academy board of trustees which has the ability to suspend or revoke his law enforcement certificate, though it is more common for an officer to be placed on probation in such cases.