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Fire captain may have violated probation, officials say

January 25, 2012

A fire captain has been charged with a probation violation after he was seen drunk at the Huntington Beach city jail, a spokesman for the Orange County Probation Department said.

John David Hines, 39, of Huntington Beach, is scheduled for a hearing at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana on March 16.

Spokesman Robert Rangel said the reason for Hines' condition was unclear, but he apparently drank ethanol produced from filtered hand sanitizer. The consumption may have occurred on jail grounds or when Hines was out on work detail, Rangel said.

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Hines, who was sentenced in November to five years of formal probation and one year in jail, could face up to four years and four months in prison.

"Potentially, that's the worst he faces," Rangel said. "The judge has a lot of discretion and could do something a lot less than that."

Hines pleaded guilty in September to severely injuring a cyclist while driving intoxicated with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit in April. In addition to his sentence, he was ordered to pay $102,000 in restitution to the victim.

It was unclear Tuesday whether Hines was still employed by the Long Beach Fire Department.

—Michael Miller

Twitter: @MichaelMillerHB

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