Assistant principal arrested for DUI on night of homecoming dance

WAYNE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A school administrator is facing a DUI charge after investigators say he was pulled over on his way home from Wayne High School's homecoming dance.

Joe Brumfield, 48, of Huntington, was arrested Saturday in Cabell County with an alcohol level more than three times the legal limit.

Brumfield is the assistant principal at Wayne High School.

"We always want to set a good example and we want our employees to set a good example for students and any time that that doesn't happen, it's obviously disappointing," said Superintendent Todd Alexander. "We want all employees to be cognizant of that and to understand we are role models for the students."

According to the criminal complaint, 911 at approximately 9:37 p.m. Saturday about a reckless driver. The caller said the driver was speeding and "all over the roadway" along Route 152 in Lavalette, West Virginia.

West Virginia State Police Trooper D.J. Selbee tells WSAZ he pulled the driver over on 5th Street Road.

He says the car was sitting for a long time at a green light before crossing the center line and crossing into a construction zone, almost hitting a barrel.

When Selbee pulled the vehicle over and approached the driver, he says he immediately knew Brumfield was intoxicated.

In addition to showing physical signs of intoxication and a scent of alcohol, Selbee says there was a half empty small bottle of vodka in the passenger seat inside a paper bag.

Brumfield admitted to drinking the liquor and told the trooper he was "coming from Homecoming."

The trooper asked Brumfield if he stopped anywhere in between to drink, and the assistant principal told him no.

"Obviously there were allegations that he was a chaperone at an event that night," Alexander said. "So we're in the process of investigating and we'll take appropriate action as necessary."

Alexander said he could not say much about the investigation because it is a personnel matter, but he said Brumfield is currently working.

"We'll determine what action, if any, needs to be taken and then we'll proceed from there," Alexander said. "Any time there's a legal issue with an employee outside of school, we have to determine if the actions of the employee are linked with their job."

Troopers say Brumfield voluntarily took field sobriety tests and failed all of them.

The legal limit for driving while under the influence is a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of .08 percent.

Brumfield had a BAC of .252. Selbee says that is "definitely not common" among DUI arrests and one of the highest BAC levels he has ever had during a traffic stop.

Another test at the WVSP detachment in Huntington resulted in a BAC of .251.

Selbee says Brumfield was "stumbling around" and even showed a sign of intoxication in his eyes that is not often detected unless someone is extremely drunk, Selbee said.

Brumfield told the officer that he was heading home. He also admitted to being a school administrator.

Selbee says Brumfield was polite and respectful during the encounter.

Although Brumfield was pulled over about 15 minutes away from the school and told the trooper he was coming from Homecoming, he did not say he drank at the school or before the dance.

The school staff member spent the night in Western Regional Jail but has since been released.

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