There is no denying that law enforcement officers are often stressed and must perform at the top of their ability even during these periods. This kind of job pressure can often lead to substance abuse problems, such as excessive drinking. If a police officer is caught drinking while on duty, the circumstances can dictate the kind of discipline the officer may face. Typically, an officer caught driving while intoxicated on duty will resign, but they can be decommissioned and effectively lose their law enforcement license. This can cause them to be unable to remain employed, as many jurisdictions have policies against being intoxicated on the job. The LA Times reports on a DUI incident that forced an officer to retire.
During a May 7th police briefing, other officers noticed that 59-year-old officer Thomas Henry Higgs was showing signs of intoxication. These officers notified the command staff of their observances.
Officer Higgs was then found to be driving around campus in a marked patrol car. A breathalyzer test revealed a blood-alcohol level of .09%. This is just over the legal limit of .08%.
Higgs retired from the California State University Fullerton Police later that month.
On July 5th, Riggs was charged with one count each of driving under the influence and driving with a blood-alcohol content of .08% or greater.
If convicted, Riggs faces the possibility of spending six months in jail, loss of his driver’s license, attending DUI school, and paying several hundreds of dollars in fines.