Prosecutors have dismissed charges against a Texas City police officer accused of drunken driving, according to the officer’s attorney.

Attorneys late Tuesday filed a motion to dismiss charges against Taide Ali Pineda, 23, citing insufficient evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt and in the interest of justice, court records show.

Pineda in 2019 was charged with driving while intoxicated, a Class B misdemeanor, after fellow officers reported finding him beside the road in his personal car, officials said.

Officers were responding to a call about a vehicle going off the road in the 2300 block of Loop 197 South when they found Pineda, who was off duty, in a ditch along the road, officials said.

Pineda consented to three different standardized field sobriety tests, said Jonathan Zendeh Del, Pineda’s defense attorney, a Galveston lawyer who specializes in driving while intoxicated defense.

As a police officer who administers the tests, Pineda knew he could refuse, Zendeh Del said.

Pineda exhibited no signs of intoxication on two of three parts of the field sobriety test, Zendeh Del said.

The one part of the test that he didn’t perform at 100 percent could have been finding symptoms consistent with a blow to the head in a crash, Zendeh Del said.

Pineda also had a very low blood alcohol content that prosecutors would not be able to prove was above 0.08 percent at the time he was driving, Zendeh Del said.

“At the end of the day, they did the right thing and dismissed the case because they could not prove it beyond a reasonable doubt,” Zendeh Del said.

Zendeh Del declined to comment about a bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey that officers found beside the road.

It was not clear as of Wednesday evening whether Pineda will return to the Texas City Police Department.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230; matt.degrood@galvnews.com.


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