WATCH: Police dispatcher who was fired after DUI arrest, crash: ‘I’m very drunk’

A dispatcher for the Athens-Clarke County Police Department was fired after she hit two cars while DUI. Laura “Beth” Ricketts was arrested Saturday after the incident at Hull and Broad streets. About 2:30 a.m., Ricketts ran a red light, hit one vehicle, then drove on and hit another vehicle.

A dispatcher for the Athens-Clarke County Police Department was fired after she hit two cars while DUI, police said.

Laura “Beth” Ricketts was arrested Saturday after the incident at Hull and Broad streets, police spokesman Epifanio Rodriguez said in a news release.

About 2:30 a.m., Ricketts ran a red light, hit one vehicle, then drove on and hit another vehicle, Rodriguez said.

When officers responded, Ricketts was sitting in the passenger seat of her car and couldn’t tell police what had happened, according to Rodriguez.

Laura Ricketts
Laura Ricketts

Credit: Athens-Clarke County Police Department

Credit: Athens-Clarke County Police Department

“Officers noted that she had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from her person,” Rodriguez said, “and was unsteady on her feet.”

Drivers of the other vehicles involved told police Ricketts was the driver and the only person in her vehicle, according to the release.

On an officer’s bodycam video, Ricketts originally says she was not driving the car, that she doesn’t know who was driving or who it belongs to. She does admit to drinking. “I had a lot to drink ... I’m very drunk,” she said.

Ricketts declined to take a field sobriety test.

Minutes later, during further questioning, she shakes her head “yes” when the officer asks if she was driving. She also says she was the only person in the car.

The officer also asks how the crash happened. “I have no idea,” Ricketts says.

She was arrested on DUI charges at the scene and taken to the Athens-Clarke County jail, Rodriguez said.

Ricketts was fired Monday, according to the release. She started the dispatcher job in October 2016.

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