Corporal in Anne Arundel sheriff’s office gets probation before judgment in DUI case

A corporal in the Anne Arundel County Sheriff’s Office received a sentence of probation before judgment in district court Wednesday after he pleaded guilty to a March drunken driving charge.

James Davis Walker Jr., 58, won’t be convicted of the traffic offense if he successfully completes the 18-month probation sentence issued by Anne Arundel District Judge Megan B. Johnson. Under the terms of his probation, Walker must complete an alcohol treatment program and apply for an alcohol restriction on his driver’s license.


Walker was arrested by Anne Arundel County Police in March when he was found in an unmarked sheriff’s office cruiser that was pulled over on Solomons Island Road in Edgewater. An officer noted in charging papers that Walker smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech and needed assistance getting out of the car. Walker had said he was driving to the home of a friend whose brother had died, according to the documents.

“There was a confluence of things going on in his life at that time,” said Peter O’Neill, Walker’s defense attorney. He said Walker, a 25-year veteran of the sheriff’s department, had not expected to drive that night and admitted responsibility for getting behind the wheel.


Walker refused tests at the scene, and later blew a blood alcohol concentration of 0.21%, more than twice the 0.08% limit for driving under the influence. He was off duty and not in uniform during the evening incident. He was released after being arrested and charged.

O’Neill described the arrest as “an isolated incident in an otherwise unblemished career.”

Since the incident, Walker has enrolled in an alcohol treatment program, had an ignition interlock device installed in his vehicle and attended a drunken driving victim impact panel, O’Neill said. On Wednesday, Johnson ordered Walker to totally abstain from alcohol and drugs during his probation period.

Walker is suspended with pay at the sheriff’s office pending the results of an internal investigation, Anne Arundel Sheriff Jim Fredericks said. The agency does not start administrative investigations for criminal cases until they conclude in court.