A Texas City police officer accused of driving drunk told investigators he’d begun sipping Jack Daniels, a gift from a passing motorist, only after he’d crashed his personal car, according to a probable cause affidavit released Friday.
Officer Taide Ali Pineda, 23, told investigators he had not been drinking and crashed because he swerved to avoid a red Kia that had cut him off, according to the affidavit.
Pineda was charged with driving while intoxicated, a Class B misdemeanor, in November 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.
Investigators found an open bottle of Jack Daniels beside the road, according to the affidavit.
An officer reported Pineda’s speech was slow and that he smelled of alcohol, according to the affidavit.
Pineda told officers that a motorist passing after the crash had stopped and given him the bottle of Jack Daniels, and that he had take several sips, according to the affidavit.
Pineda was driving his car at the time of the crash and it was the only thing damaged, officials said.
Pineda provided two breathalyzer samples that tested his blood alcohol at 0.126 and 0.117, both above the legal limit of .08, according to the affidavit.
Department leaders relieved Pineda of duty and launched an internal affairs investigation, officials said. They will make a final decision on his employment after the criminal case concludes.
Pineda has been an officer with the Texas City Police Department for more than a year.