Aiken deputy fired after DUI

AIKEN --- Aiken County Sheriff Michael Hunt fired a deputy Thursday morning who had been arrested hours earlier in Richmond County on a driving under the influence charge.

Leonard Canalejo's blood alcohol level registered at 0.15, said sheriff's Lt. Michael Frank, a spokesman for the sheriff's office.

The legal blood alcohol limit in Georgia is .08.

Lt. Frank said Mr. Canalejo was off duty, driving his private vehicle on Gordon Highway in Augusta, on his way home from a bar when Richmond County deputies pulled him over.

"Sheriff Hunt released him from employment first thing this morning," Lt. Frank said.

Mr. Canalejo was hired as a deputy in June 2005 in the uniform patrol division.

According to department policy, sheriff's office employees are not allowed to frequent bars in Aiken County.

"We can go out of the county and go to whatever restaurants and other establishments we want to, but we're governed by the same laws as everyone else," Lt. Frank said.

In October, four narcotics officers with the sheriff's department were fired after an investigation that found they had used an unmarked county-owned car to go bar-hopping in North Augusta and Augusta.

Another narcotics officer who had been suspended eventually resigned.

Reach Michelle Guffey at (803) 648-1395, ext. 110, or michelle.guffey@augustachronicle.com