Colorado police officer found drunk in the patrol car will not be charged or fired
Colorado police officer who was found drunk and unresponsive behind the wheel of his patrol vehicle in March, 2019 will not be fired or charged despite the independent investigation of the incident.
Aurora Police Department officer Nathan Meier who drunk a bottle of vodka in the middle of his shift in March this year was found locked up inside the cruiser after the 911 call reporting of 'unresponsive' officer in a vehicle outside Buckley Air Force Base.
Aurora Fire Rescue arrived at the scene found the car parked in the middle of Mississippi Avenue with the engine still running. They could not open the door to take Meier out of the car so they had to break the window. The officers arrived at 3:44 and while trying to remove Meier’s gun and taser when some of them “smelled the alcohol odor.”
Footage from the scene show that several police officers switched off their bodycams to protect their wasted colleague from the charges. As the case got publicity, the department faced the public resentment when learned that there would not be any charges against Meier. According to Aurora Police Department statement, the incident was treated as an emergency situation and there was no evidence of drinking at the scene alongside with the fact that there had now been an accident and nobody had been injured.
“Due to an inability to exclude a medical condition and absent confirmatory information, a DUI investigation was not conducted,” a statement from Aurora Police said. “No blood test was done since there was no felony committed and a blood draw could not be forced.”
Meier was not charged with DUI due to the lack of evidences and was hospitalized and then sent home. Some of his colleagues, including the Department’s Deputy Chief Paul O’Keefe believed that Meier suffered “some other medical episode” than intoxication. Meier still remains employed, although he was demoted from the rank of agent to officer and “received a significant unpaid suspension,” according to the department.
During the internal investigation launched by the department Meier took the responsibilities for his actions and admitted that he had gone home and drank ‘vodka from a bottle’ mid-shit and confessed he had been ‘impaired by the alcohol’ when officers found him. He also added that he ‘had no recollection of anything else until he woke up in the hospital.’
Friday, Aurora Police Department Chief Nick Metz wrote in his internal email:
“I unequivocally stand by my decision regarding the involved officer.”
“I know cops are human beings. You are not perfect. You are exposed to higher levels of stress and trauma than the general public will ever truly understand. We all know that trauma, suicide and substance abuse continue to be huge problems in our profession.”
Photo by Aurora Police Department