The highly decorated senior enlisted adviser of a Reserve military police command was suspended Thursday — six days after a drunken driving arrest in which he allegedly refused to submit to a breathalyzer.
Command Sgt. Maj. Kurtis Timmer, 53, of the Fort Meade, Maryland-based 200th Military Police Command, was arrested on Friday near Fort Dix, New Jersey, where he was attending the Reserve’s Best Warrior competition. The MP command controls more than 13,000 soldiers in 44 states.
Brig. Gen Phillip Churn, the 200th’s commander, suspended Timmer pending the outcome of the police investigation, said command spokesman Maj. LeVar Armstrong.
“He is still our command sergeant major, and this is a temporary suspension,” Armstrong said.
At about 2 a.m., a state trooper pulled over Timmer on Highway 206 in Southampton Township, said Trooper Jeff Flynn, spokesman for the New Jersey State Police.
There had been a complaint of an erratic driver and Timmer’s vehicle matched the description in the complaint, Flynn told Army Times.
The charges against Timmer indicate he refused a breathalyzer. It’s unclear whether Timmer refused the test outright or was unresponsive to the arresting trooper’s request.
Typically in arrests for driving under the influence, the person’s car is impounded and they are held in police custody until someone can pick them up and sign a liability release form. Timmer was held at the Red Lion police station, Flynn said.
New Jersey Police said Thursday that their case was still under investigation.
Army Times attempted to reach Timmer for comment through email but received no response. Attempts to reach him through a command spokesman were unsuccessful.
Timmer, a 36-year Army veteran, received the Order of the Marechaussee in 2013, the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a military police officer in the Military Police Regimental Association. He is also a recipient of the Combat Action Badge, Bronze Star and Meritorious Service Medal, among other awards.
In New Jersey, the penalty for refusing a breathalyzer the first time includes fines, a loss of driving privileges in the state for up to year and a minimum 12-hour intoxicated driving class. A judge has discretion to levy less severe punishment, Flynn said.
Military law does not specifically ban soldiers from refusing a breathalyzer, but the military can prosecute them for doing so under the general article, 134, if the refusal violated a civilian law. If civilian authorities have other evidence that suggests intoxicated driving, or the soldier’s conduct during the traffic stop is service discrediting, he can also face prosecution or potentially career-ending administrative action.