PORTAGE TOWNSHIP — A Lake Station police officer was arrested Nov. 12 on a drunken driving charge in Porter County after driving his Jeep into a utility pole.

Andres Verduzco, 31, of Portage, was charged with operating while intoxicated.

Police were called at 12:42 a.m. Nov. 12 to the area of Lake/Porter County Line Road and County Road 700 North.

Police said Verduzco's Jeep was sitting off the road and had severed a telephone pole and lines were down in the street. No injuries were reported.

Porter County police said Verduzco was seated in the back seat of a Lake Station police car when they arrived.

Verduzco told Porter County police he was sending his wife a text message while he was driving and lost control of his vehicle, according to the report. He also told police he had consumed seven or eight beers.

He registered a blood alcohol content of 0.13 on a portable breath test, but Verduzco refused to take a certified chemical test.

Porter County police requested and received a warrant to draw his blood. He was taken to Porter County Jail.

Lake Station Police Chief David Johnson said Verduzco is on administrative leave pending the investigation and review by the Lake Station Police Merit Board.

When asked why Lake Station police were at the scene of a crash in Porter County, he said the department is reviewing everything that occurred that night.

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