LONG BEACH -- A former Long Beach Fire captain convicted of felony drunk-driving last year was sentenced to four years in state prison Friday after he was found in violation of his probation.

John David Hines, 38, filtered hand sanitizer at the Huntington Beach Jail and drank the ethanol it produced, said Huntington Beach Capt. Russell Reinhart.

Officers at the jail noticed on Jan. 17 that Hines was staggering around and learned Hines used salt to filter the toxins out of the cleaning solution before drinking it, Reinhart said.

His blood alcohol level measured .22, according to court documents.

Hines was on probation, and serving time at the Huntington Beach jail on a pay-to-stay program, after he pleaded guilty last September to several felony counts of drunk-driving and leaving a cyclist that he hit on the side of the road.

Hines, who had been drinking at a Schooner or Later in Long Beach early on April 1, hit 47-year-old Jeffrey Gordon and left the man critically injured, authorities said.

The victim was hospitalized for two weeks with head trauma, spinal injuries, and severe lacerations and bruising. At the time of the plea, prosecutors said Gordon still suffered limited mobility, speech problems and memory loss.

Hines was chased to his Huntington Beach home by witnesses. His blood alcohol content measured more than three times the legal limit of .08, prosecutors said.

In exchange for his plea, he was sentenced to four years and four months but that term was stayed in favor of five years probation and one year in county jail.


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Reinhart said Hines was serving the jail term at the Huntington Beach Jail as part of a pay-to-stay program, which allows inmates to pay a fee and work as a janitor cleaning up the cells, drunk tanks and bathrooms.

Hines was also immediately placed on administrative leave from the Long Beach Fire Department at the time of his April arrest, officials said last year.

"He's not working for the city at this time," Debbie Mills, the city's Human Resources Director, said earlier this year.

Mills said she could not discuss any discipline taken with Hines because it was a personnel matter involving an off-duty incident.

"I can tell you the city took immediate and appropriate action," Mills said.

Multiple sources told the Press-Telegram Monday that Hines' position with the fire department was terminated. Though he has the right to appeal the decision, he cannot do so while incarcerated, they said.

tracy.manzer@presstelegram.com, 562-714-2150, twitter.com/tmanzer