By KAREN VELIE
An on-duty California Highway Patrol officer was arrested for DUI in the parking lot of the CHP office on California Boulevard in San Luis Obispo more than a month ago. Nevertheless, the officer was not booked into jail nor was his mugshot taken.
On the morning of July 27, officer Gary Dana drove his BMW to the CHP office, put on his uniform, got into his squad car and drove about 10 feet before he was arrested for driving under the influence. Dana had a blood alcohol content of .15.
The legal limit for driving in California is .08.
Dana later admitted to consuming a single vodka cranberry at 9 p.m. on July 26.
At about 5:30 a.m. on July 27, Sgt. Diego Flores noticed that Dana was not at the morning briefing. A few minutes later, Dana walked into the briefing room, flicked on a second set of lights, and then complained about the brightness, according to the arrest report.
Flores noticed Dana’s eyes were bloodshot and that he appeared to be intoxicated.
Following the briefing, Flores instructed Dana to meet him in the sergeants’ room. Instead, Dana took a set of keys from the CHP vehicle key board and left the office.
Flores trailed Dana to the parking lot and found the intoxicated officer sitting in a squad car with the engine running. Flores again ordered Dana to meet him in the sergeants’ room before driving the patrol car.
Nevertheless, Dana backed up the patrol car and began to drive toward the CHP facility gate, according to the arrest report.
“I hollered at Dana to stop as he shifted to drive and drove forward approximately 10 feet before he stopped,” Flores wrote in the arrest report. “I opened the passenger door and ordered Dana to place the vehicle in park and turn the engine off.”
Dana then turned the engine off and handed the car keys to Flores.
Flores escorted Dana to the sergeants’ room, conducted a DUI evaluation and arrested the officer for drunk driving.
Following his arrest, Dana changed back into his civilian clothes as he waited for his wife to give him a ride home. Dana continues to work full time for the CHP, which includes patrol duties, Lt. Mike Brown said.
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