A Baltimore County Fire Department battalion chief who pleaded guilty yesterday to driving drunk in Ocean City in June was fined $300 and received probation before judgment for 30 days.
John J. Hohman, 44, of Owings Mills has been disciplined with a two-day administrative suspension and forfeiture of two days leave, said Fire Chief Paul H. Reincke. He said it was "the most severe measures ever taken by anyone in this office for this offense."
Hohman was on vacation when he was arrested June 17 during the annual Volunteer Firemen's Convention, four days after he paid a $135 fine in Baltimore County for driving 77 mph in a 50-mph zone on Westminster Pike in a county vehicle in November. Hohman received probation before judgment in that case.
Police Officer Mark Wolinsky told Judge Lloyd L. Simpkins Jr. in Ocean City District Court that after a motorist told him of a near-sideswipe by Hohman's car, the officer followed the 1992 Oldsmobile and saw Hohman swerving from side to side, nearly driving on the median.
The officer testified that Hohman nearly fell down as he left his car, failed field sobriety tests and recorded .18 blood alcohol in a breath test at the police station.
Under state law, a blood alcohol content of .10 is evidence of intoxication.
Hohman did not testify. His lawyer, M. Dean Jenkins, told the court that the battalion chief would lose his job if he were convicted of drunken driving. He said Hohman has attended intense alcohol counseling sessions since his arrest on Coastal Highway.
Hohman, a former firefighters union president, is in charge of labor relations for the department. He surrendered his departmental car several weeks ago, the chief said.
Pub Date: 8/20/97