Mesquite police detective arrested for DUI while in patrol car, report says

Published: Jan. 2, 2023 at 4:11 PM PST
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A Mesquite Police Department detective was arrested and charged with driving under the influence while in a patrol car on Nov. 13, authorities said Monday.

Detective Gustavo Garcia, 35, was seen swerving between lanes near mile marker 68 on Highway 93 at about 9 p.m. that night when a Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper pulled him over after someone called authorities.

The caller said the driver, later identified as Garcia, was going about 30 miles per hour on the highway outside Kingman, AZ. The posted speed limit was 65 miles per hour.

“As I first made contact with the driver, I could smell a strong odor of alcohol coming from the driver’s side area of the vehicle. I observed the driver’s eyes to be watery and red,” the trooper stated in the report.

After asking for ID, registration and proof of insurance, the trooper noticed Garcia having trouble looking in his own wallet. The trooper then saw an outer carrier vest with a police badge sewn on it.

He asked Garcia if he was a member of law enforcement. Garcia said “yea.”

When asked to step out of the vehicle, Garcia let his foot off the brake and the vehicle began to move forward. During a search, the trooper found a handgun in Garcia’s waist.

“Garcia began staggering as he was walking and appeared to have difficulty keeping his balance,” the report states. Another trooper arrived and helped Garcia keep from falling over.

The trooper asked if Garcia would do any field sobriety tests. Garcia refused and was arrested.

Inside the car, the trooper found an open bottle of Jägermeister Cold Brew Coffee in the center console. It was one-quarter full.

An orange Shock Top beer bottle cap was found inside the car but no empty bottles. An unopened bottle of Shock Top was found in the right rear passenger area. Inside a paper bag was a full bottle of Jägermeister, unopened. The patrol car was towed.

Troopers also found a less-lethal shotgun, ballistic vests, helmets, and other items in the car.

Garcia eventually said he understood his rights and agreed to a breathalyzer test at the Kingman Police Department. When the device was ready, he refused to blow into it.

A search warrant was obtained for Garcia’s blood sample and he cooperated as the trooper - a qualified forensic phlebotomist - drew the sample. Garcia was later booked into the Mohave County Jail.

Garcia’s bloodwork revealed his blood-alcohol content was .24, three times the legal limit. His next court date is unknown.

Mesquite Police Chief Maquade Chesley released the following statement on the arrest:

Anytime an officer commits a crime it is unacceptable, hurtful and extremely disheartening. Not only do their actions betray the trust of the public, but they damage the reputation of our entire profession.

An incident like this can also remind us of the humanity of police officers, but by no means excuses their behavior. Like any person who commits a crime they have to be held accountable to their criminal actions. Additionally, officers are required to live a higher ethical standard. Our department immediately opened an internal investigation and placed the officer on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Mesquite Police Chief Maquade Chesley