According to a L.A. Times article, liquor-related arrests of sheriff department employees have nearly tripled since 2004– suggesting that there is a growing drinking problem in the department.
Last year, 70 sworn and civilian employees of the Sheriff’s Department were arrested. The majority of those arrests involved employees driving DUI while off duty, according to an annual report produced by the county Office of Independent Review. One concerning element of that study is that in many cases, the alleged drunk deputies were carrying firearms at the time of their arrests.
In one case last year, an off-duty deputy at a New Year’s party inadvertently shot his cousin in the stomach while showing off a new holster. The report also included documentation of two cases in which deputies drew their guns after coming out of bars.
These incidents have caused the Sherriff and the police unions to square off- the Sherriff wants to implement a policy to ban deputies from carrying firearms while under the influence of alcohol. The unions have opposed the policy, saying that it would endanger deputies. The matter is now with the county’s employee relations commission.
Comments about this post can be directed to Los Angeles DUI attorney William Weinberg at (714) 834-1400.