Fisher could lose state car if convicted of traffic violations

Thursday, August 7th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Carroll Fisher could lose his state car if he is convicted of driving under the influence and other traffic complaints, according to a state official.

Pam Warren, director of the state Central Services Department, said loss of a state car is a possibility for any state employee who leases a state vehicle and then is found to have violated the lease's conditions, which include obeying traffic laws.

Fisher was arrested Sunday after a teenage motorist reported following a possible drunken driver, police said.

Fisher took a breath test and registered .08 blood alcohol content, police said. Any level 0.08 or higher is considered illegal.

Fisher, 63, was arrested on complaints of driving under the influence, making an illegal right turn and transporting an open container of beer.

A conviction on a DUI charge would bring suspension of the driver's license and a jail term of not less than 10 days or more than one year as well as a fine of not more than $1,000, according to the Public Safety Department.

A hearing on Fisher's case is set Sept. 2 in Oklahoma City municipal court.

Warren said the lease agreement that state employees sign when leasing a state car requires them to certify that they have a valid driver's license, will use the vehicle only for state business and will observe all traffic laws.

Regulations prohibiting the use of state cars for personal business does not apply to public officials who are statewide elected commissioners, Warren said.

Fisher said he was returning home from Barry Switzer's American Cancer Society fund-raising auction when he was stopped.

He declined to comment on what a conviction on the police complaints might do to his automobile insurance rates.

``As a general rule, I would think you could expect a pretty steep increase,'' Fisher's spokesman, David Meuser, said.