The previous captain of the guided missile submarine USS Ohio was arrested for driving even though intoxicated about a 7 days in advance of he was relieved of command previously this month, according to an arrest report from the Washington State Patrol.

Navy Capt. Kurt D. Balagnas blood liquor content was calculated at additional than a few instances the Washington condition restrict of .08% when he was pulled about on March 5, in accordance to the arrest report, which Undertaking & Reason acquired by means of an formal documents ask for.

Balagna was relieved as the commanding officer of the Ohios Gold Crew on March 11. When the Navy issued a news launch about his firing two days later, it only said that Balagna experienced been relieved owing to a decline of assurance in his capability to command. 

‘Loss of confidence’

The Navy and other products and services regularly relieve commanders for a extensive variety of explanations from bad efficiency or management to individual concerns unrelated to their put up and publicly disclose them to different extents as a measure of accountability amongst senior leaders charged with command.

On the other hand, all military services solutions almost always publicly ascribe those firings to a basic reduction of self-confidence with no explanatory specifics. As a consequence, speculation and rumors all over the removals generally operate wild, ranging from political conspiracies to unsubstantiated felony accusations.

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Endeavor & Reason attempts to understand the underlying explanations for a relief to identify if individual errors or failings led to the transfer or if a lot more really serious challenges, these kinds of as harmful leadership, misconduct, or even placing the troops they command in risk, any of which could show deeper difficulties inside a device further than the relieved commander.

4 hrs of ingesting

In Balagnas case, Navy Instances was initially to report that Patterson had been arrested on Jan. 8 on a misdemeanor charge of driving underneath the impact and other offenses.

A trooper with the Washington Condition Patrol pulled the captain  about close to 12:30 on March 5, the law enforcement report claims. The trooper observed Balagnas vehicle weaving from side to facet on Interstate 5.

Right after Balagna rolled down his passenger side window, the trooper could instantly scent a robust odor of intoxicants from within Balagnas car, according to the arrest report.

Balagnas eyes were flushed and his speech slurred as he informed the trooper that he was headed to SeattleTacoma International Airport, but he was obtaining difficulty locating it, the report suggests. At the time, Balagna was well north of the airport.

Balagna explained to the trooper that he had been consuming Vodka since 8 a.m. that morning. He then failed a sobriety check, following which the trooper asked him if he thought he ought to be driving.

He appeared down and shook his head and claimed no, the arrest report claims. Dependent on my schooling and encounter it was apparent that he was really intoxicated and not harmless to be driving. I placed him underneath arrest for DUI [driving under the influence].

Another trooper took Balagna to the King County Correctional Facility, wherever he was booked for driving less than the impact.

Task & Intent was not able to access Balagna by phone or e mail on Thursday. A spokesman for Submarine Team 9 the commander of which relieved Balagna was not immediately obtainable for comment.

At least a person other Navy commander fired this calendar year was also arrested for drunken driving. Navy Capt. Geoffry Patterson was relieved of command of the guided missile submarine USS Georgias Blue Crew on Jan. 12. 

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