NEW ORLEANS -- A high-ranking officer with the New Orleans Police Department was arrested for DWI on the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway on Thursday.
Causeway officials confirm their police officers took NOPD Third District Lt. Chris Billiot into custody shortly after midnight on Thursday.
Causeway general manager Carlton Dufrechou said Billiot hit a guard rail with his personal pickup truck and spun around into the northbound lanes about a mile from the Northshore Causeway approach.
Dufrechou also said when officers arrived on the scene, they smelled alcohol on Billiot's breath and he performed poorly on a field sobriety test.
Dufrechou said Billiot refused to blow into a breathalyzer.
Officers then arrested him for suspicion of driving while intoxicated and careless operation of a vehicle.
Police took Billiot to the St. Tammany Parish jail for booking.
An NOPD spokeswoman said the department would investigate the arrest. An NOPD spokesperson says Lt. Billiot has been placed on administrative reassignment pending the outcome of a Public Integrity Bureau investigation
Billiot is represented by Fraternal Order of Police attorney Raymond Burkhart.
"This case's investigation remains in its infancy, and all parties are in the process of gathering information to determine exactly what happened that night," Burkhart said in a statement.
"The only presumption anyone may make is that of Lt. Billiot's presumption of innocence, that presumption's applying to all citizens in Louisiana and in the United States of America, regardless of a person's station in life. With that presumption in mind, it is premature to pass judgment; and we must allow the judicial process run its course without bias or prejudice."