Officer Avoids Penalty in DUI Falsification Case

Police are often the first to investigate and test drivers to see if they are diving under the influence. Like many of us, when quitting time comes, we often just want to go home. Getting caught up in more work would only prolong the day and many would choose to just put it off until tomorrow. Police often do not have that option and must investigate no matter how close they are to completing their shift. In a case involving a drunk driver, the LA Times reports on a police officer accused of making a false report when an incident occurred just before the end of his shift.

This past Thursday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Jose Sandoval granted the motion to dismiss the case against a Los Angeles Police officer accused of falsifying a police report. The decision came after a jury deadlocked in the criminal trial.

In the trial, which concluded August 7th, jurors acquitted officer Irene Gomez of any wrong doing, but were deadlocked in the decision regarding officer Rene Ponce.

The incident, which began when Del Mar Alan Garcia Gomez was on his way home from his son’s birthday party at about 6 a.m. He fell asleep behind the wheel and crashed his friend’s Mustang into two parked cars. After he came to and attempted to get out of the car, bystanders grabbed him and accused him of being drunk.

The witnesses accused the driver of being drunk when Ponce and Gomez arrived in their patrol car. Ponce shined a flashlight in Garcia Gomez’s eyes and asked him to walk a straight line. According to Garcia Gomez, the officer then asked him to deny driving the car. The officers then dropped him off at his nearby home.

The officers then wrote reports that the driver was not at the scene and the car had been abandoned.

When Garcia Gomez and his friend, the owner of the Mustang, went to reclaim the car from the impound lot, they were informed that the car was tied to a hit-and-run. He told the LAPD traffic detective that he never fled the scene.

Attorneys for the officer argued that Garcia Gomez never spoke to Officer Gomez and was not around when Ponce allegedly told him to deny he had been driving the car.

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