Jacksonville district fire chief arrested on DUI charge


CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – A Jacksonville district fire chief was arrested this week in Clay County on a DUI charge.

According to a Clay County Sheriff's Office report, Jason Tidwell, 44, was found with his car stuck in a ditch on County Road 217 on Tuesday afternoon.

A witness told deputies that Tidwell was driving in a reckless manner on Normandy Boulevard before turning onto C.R. 217 at a high speed, according to the report.

The investigating deputy wrote in the report that there was a strong odor of alcohol coming from Tidwell. According to the report, there was a large, open bottle of vodka wrapped in a plastic bag sitting in the passenger seat.

The witness said he lost sight of Tidwell's vehicle until he saw it stuck in the ditch, according to the report. 

The deputy said Tidwell failed a field sobriety test and was arrested. He provided two samples of his breath, with the results of 0.313 and 0.339, according to the report.

According to Jacksonville Fire-Rescue Chief Marty Senterfitt, District Chief Jason Tidwell is now working in administration at fire headquarters.

JFRD is investigating the case.

Senterfitt said Tidwell is still being paid and has not been suspended. That could happen when the investigation is complete.