Joyriding Firefighter Charged with DWI with Engine

A volunteer firefighter from the Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department in Hamilton, Virginia has been charged with drunk driving after he was arrested while joy riding with an engine company at 2:00am Saturday morning. Seriously… you can’t make this stuff up!

Sean Richard Swanson, 27, was arrested at about 2:00am on March 5, 2011 after a Loudoun County Deputy Sherriff observed the vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed. The deputy then had to veer into a ditch to avoid colliding with the fire truck. Swanson had four other firefighters with him on the truck at the time, two from his department and two from a neighboring department. All personnel were part of the Loudoun County Fire Rescue, and all were reported to have been drinking.  

The Hamilton VFD personnel involved in the joyride are reported to have resigned from the department, while the other two firefighters have been suspended from their department.  Loudoun Couty fire officials have reported that the truck involved was a 1989 Pierce Engine that was in reserve status at the time of the episode.

In addition to driving while intoxicated, Swanson was charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle. He may face additional charges once the state’s attorney reviews the facts.

For more on the story.

For a press release issued by Loudoun County Fire Rescue about the incident: VA-Loudoun-Hamilto-DUI-press-release

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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