The Kotzebue Fire Department (KFD) chief is on paid administrative leave after being charged with driving under the influence, according to Kotzebue city attorney Joe Evans.


Sean Ralston is accused of driving a City of Kotzebue vehicle while intoxicated on July 2, the Kotzebue Police Department (KPD) said in a release.


After Kotzebue police were notified, a responding officer went to Ralston’s home, but the vehicle wasn’t there, police wrote. The officer later witnessed the fire chief’s marked vehicle entering a parking lot, the release said.


When the officer contacted Ralston they smelled an alcohol odor, and saw one Bud Light beer can crushed, as well as another half full beer in a koozie on the driver side floor of the vehicle, according to police.


Ralston was taken to the Kotzebue Regional Jail, where he provided a blood alcohol level of .167, KPD said.


KFD captain Kelly Marcus is acting fire chief, Evans said.