KINGSHILL — A high-ranking officer in the Virgin Islands National Guard was cited for drunk driving in St. Croix on Sunday evening.
David McCoy Ginn, a lieutenant colonel in the VING was arrested at 6:30 p.m. Sunday and charged with negligent driving and driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.
McCoy Ginn, 40, of Daytona Beach, Florida, posted his Virgin Islands driver’s license in lieu of $1,000 bail. He appeared in Virgin Islands Superior Court for his advice-of-rights hearing Monday.
According to the probable cause fact sheet, an officer traveling on Melvin H. Evans Highway on Sunday evening observed a blue Jeep Wrangler veer into the right lane without any indicator. The vehicle then reportedly drove in the middle of the eastbound lane blocking both lanes. The officer also observed the driver apply sudden brakes causing the vehicle to skid in the intersection while approaching the East Airport Road traffic light. The vehicle then made a sudden left turn onto East Airport Road and the officer immediately activated their lights and siren to stop the driver.
The fact sheet states that when the driver got out of the vehicle, the officer observed the individual swaying and holding on to his vehicle for support. The officer also noted a strong smell of alcohol on the driver’s breath and person and observed two empty plastic cups in the center console of the vehicle. When asked his name the driver identified himself as Lieutenant Colonel David Ginn and provided his military ID. The officer then asked where he was coming from, to which Ginn responded that he had just left Leatherback Brewing and had asked a friend to take him home, but the friend was not ready to leave. According to the officer’s statement, the driver claimed that he had only consumed two beers.
The fact sheet states that Ginn attempted to plead with the officer stating, “If you do this to me you are going to end my career. We all make mistakes.” According to the officer, Ginn then admitted that he was wrong for driving while intoxicated. The officer administered three standardized field sobriety tests, all of which Ginn failed. The fact sheet states that during his interaction with the officer, Ginn started talking in an aggressive manner, instructing the officer to call the governor, his commanding officer, and a specific police officer. He further stated, “I have a top security clearance. I want the Chief of Police here immediately.”
After failing the field tests Ginn was placed under arrest and later refused to perform a chemical test. He subsequently posted his license in lieu of bail which was set at $1,000. At his advisement hearing on Monday, Judge Ernest Morris Jr. informed Ginn that he faces maximum incarceration of 1 year and a minimum fine of $500 if found guilty of driving under the influence. The charge of negligent driving carries a jail term of 6 months, a maximum fine of $200, or both.
Ginn’s attorney asked that he be released on his own recognizance and that his license not be suspended while the matter remains pending. According to the attorney, the defendant must be able to drive to execute his duties as a member of the VI National Guard and also needs to cater to the needs of his disabled minor son. The judge indicated that suspension of the defendant’s license was not required under the relevant statute. He then ruled that Ginn’s continued release would be permitted on the posting of $1000 cash and that his license will be returned to him once the amount is paid.