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Ex-officer says he wasn't drunk in crash

Former JSO officer forced to resign after DUI charge last year

Michael Rolison says he wasn't drunk the night he hit a car head-on while driving his police cruiser home from work.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A former Jacksonville police officer who resigned last year after being charged with driving under the influence in St. Johns County says he was never drunk.

Michael Rolison crashed his police car head-on into another car while heading home from work during the early morning hours of Aug. 24. Florida Highway Patrol investigators said he was drunk and had an open beer in the car.

"I want to set it straight to let people know what happened," Rolison said Tuesday of why he's speaking out. "After my shift I had one beer, and an hour later came home, got into a crash, and at this point, I still don't remember a crash occurring."

State troopers said Rolison lost control of his cruiser on Greenbriar Road near County Road 210, crossed the center line, struck the eastbound car and spun around. The investigating trooper said she smelled alcohol.

"I apparently refused when FHP asked me for blood alcohol," Rolison said. "I just don't recall them even asking me, but apparently I did refuse. Right after that, as soon as the trooper left my bedside, (the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office) and Internal Affairs was there asking me for a blood draw, and I consented to a blood draw at that time."

Officer Michael Rolison's cruiser is taken away after the early morning crash.

The results from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement came back six days after the crash and showed there was no alcohol or drugs in Rolison's blood. However, JSO, which performed those tests, was not investigating the crash.

"Internal Affairs came to my house and said, 'You have two options: Either the sheriff is going to terminate you and you will lose your law enforcement certificate, or you can resign now and none of that will happen,'" Rolison said.

Rolison resigned and is now facing a court date on a DUI charge in St Johns County. He said he's surprised investigators are going through with the case because the test showed no alcohol in his system.

Former Jacksonville police officer and Channel 4 crime analyst Ken Jefferson said that in Rolison's case, it sounds like JSO applied "full-court pressure" on Rolison to resign, and that fact that Rolison admitted to having one beer after work doesn't help his case.

"According to their policies and procedures, you are not suppose to have any type of alcohol and you are not suppose to purchase alcohol in your uniform or the police car," Jefferson said.

"Everything was great at that point," Rolison said of his life before the crash. "I got a great wife. I got five kids. They are all healthy. I was tired. I worked a 12-hour shift and I came home, and I think what happened is I fell asleep."

JSO said Rolison resigned on his own accord, and it will not comment further.