Veteran Officer in Charlotte Charged with On-Duty DWI

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police detectives say an officer is accused of driving his patrol cruiser while impaired.

A statement from police said the officer was charged on July 31st with driving while impaired and operating a law enforcement vehicle after consuming alcohol. The accused officer is a 26-year veteran of the department.

According to police, the accused officer was responding to a traffic accident in his cruiser when it struck the wheel of a truck on the city’s north side. There was no damage to the truck and only minor damage to the cruiser. No injuries were reported.

Following standard procedure for officers involved in car accidents, a department supervisor responded to the scene and administered an alcohol and drug assessment to the veteran officer.

An investigation showed he had a blood-alcohol level of .09, slightly above the legal limit.

Tests showed that the veteran officer was impaired, the chief of police said at a Friday news conference, with a blood alcohol level of .09 – over the legal minimum of .08.

He said there was no evidence of alcohol containers or drug paraphernalia in the officer’s cruiser.

“Officers with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department are expected to conduct themselves to the highest professional standards and will be held accountable when they fail to do so,” Chief Kerr Putney said in a statement. “At no time will this department tolerate behavior that violates the law or our community’s trust.”

Putney described the accused as a “strong officer” who had no “disciplinary issues” during his 26 years with the department, except for a “preventable accident in 1989 when he was a rookie cop. But nothing since that time.” The chief didn’t provide any details of that accident.