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RH fire chief fired after DUI charge
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Richmond Hill’s acting fire chief reportedly has been let go just days after being arrested in Tattnall County for allegedly driving under the influence of prescription drugs.
Assistant Fire Chief Andy Burriss, who was serving as the department’s interim chief, was terminated Oct. 31 from the Richmond Hill Fire Department, City Manager Chris Lovell said.
According to a Georgia State Patrol incident report, Burriss was arrested Oct. 26 during a traffic stop in Tattnall County and charged with DUI-drugs less safe and driving with expired tags.
The report states that Burriss initially was pulled over by Reidsville Police Lt. James Waters, who suspected Burriss was driving while impaired.
In the report, Trooper Richard Sikes said when he arrived on the scene, he spoke with Burriss and noted his license-plate tag had been expired for 23 months.
Burriss responded that he “just hasn’t got it yet,” according to the report.
Sikes said he noticed Burriss’ speech was slow and slurred and that he was unsteady on his feet.
“I noticed his lips and mouth were very dry,” Sikes said in his report. “I asked him if had taken any medicine or was on any. He stated he was taking Somas and oxycodone.”
Soma, or carisoprodol, is a muscle relaxer, and oxycodone is an opioide pain killer.
After performing field sobriety tests, Sikes said, “it was obvious he was impaired to a point less safe for him to be operating a motor vehicle.”
Burriss was arrested and consented to a blood test before being transported to the Tattnall County Jail for processing.
Burriss was serving as the interim fire chief in place of longtime fire chief Vernon Rushing, who was placed on paid administrative leave in June before retiring in September.

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