It’s said that everyone deserves a second chance, but some wonder if a Denver police officer arrested for DUI and cited for continually failed alcohol tests while on probations should be allowed to put the blue on again. One side sees a police department that allows failed officers back on the force while the other sees a police department that’s taking a different approach to substance abuse and counseling.
While the office didn’t receive a pink slip, he did agree to abstain from alcohol for at least two years, participate in a resiliency program from the department, agree to undergo random urine tests, attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, complete all recommendations from a probation officer, and serve a 20-day unpaid suspension. This according to a disciplinary letter issued by the department this past January.
The department believes it’s showing mercy, but other criminal justice professionals believe the force is taking an unnecessary risk. Especially after the officer failed random alcohol tests. “They are probably much more lenient than I would be,” said Curtis Graves, an attorney for Employers Council, a Denver-based human resources consulting group. “The guy, either on duty or off duty, if he gets in an accident, they’re going to have a whole other slew of problems on their hands.”
The agreement to take the officer back and the conditions that the officer must meet moving forward came from the Denver’s Department of Public Safety (DPS.) According to DPS, not dismissing the officer or forcing him to serve a longer suspension is their way of aiding addiction issues. They believe an officer with a 60-day suspension will not see any hope and continue drinking. Sobriety for two years is more strenuous and arduous,” said deputy director of DPS Jess Vigil. “I can see where some would see this as being lenient, but I can assure you, based on my experience, this is harsher than if he had done the straight 60 days.”
The Officer’s name has been redacted from the disciplinary letter, but he had been previously identified as Jayson Spitzer. The cop first faced disciplinary action for a driving under the influence arrest and further action for missed, diluted, or failed alcohol tests while on probation. For now, the department is keeping Spitzer in a desk-job role. According to DPS, if Spitzer slips up again – he will be immediately terminated.
Special thanks to The Frankfurt Law Office and its DUI attorney experts for covering this important issue for our readers.