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Former Utah police chief pleads guilty to impaired driving

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WELLSVILLE, Cache County — A former Box Elder County police chief has pleaded guilty to impaired driving after troopers say he drove erratically and failed a sobriety test in January.

Shane Jacob Zilles, 49, pleaded guilty to the class B misdemeanor April 19 in Wellsville Justice Court, according to court records.

Zilles was driving a Mantua police patrol car on state Route 91 near the mouth of Sardine Canyon about 5 p.m. on Jan. 29 when the Utah Highway Patrol said his vehicle was spotted traveling at least 86 mph in a 65 mph zone. The patrol car was traveling in the median, and without any emergency lights or sirens, according to a UHP report.

The arresting trooper, who immediately recognized Zilles, stated in the report that the chief had trouble finding the button to roll down the passenger window and eventually rolled down the back window instead. When the trooper asked Zilles to open the passenger door, he said his patrol car rolled 6 to 8 feet before stopping and Zilles got the door open.

Mantua officials confirmed that Zilles was fired shortly after his arrest.

He was sentenced to two days in jail. However, he can instead complete five days of community service. He also was ordered to serve one year of probation, during which he must remain drug and alcohol free and submit tests to prove it.

A review hearing in the case is scheduled for July.

Correction: A former version incorrectly identified Shane Jacob Zilles as a former police chief in Cache County. He worked in Box Elder County.

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