CHP officer arrested for DUI, in squad car

Gary Dana


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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9 Comments about “CHP officer arrested for DUI, in squad car”

  1. William J Sidis says:

    “The legal limit for driving in California is .08.”

    This is NOT true. You can be arrested for driving with ANY alcohol in your system and be charged and convicted of DUI. The only thing .08 does is at that point and above the prosecution does not have to prove you are drunk. It is legally presumed that you are. Under .08 the prosecution has to PROVE that you are drunk, but if your driving and field sobriety tests are bad enough you can get convicted still. 23152(a)VC is driving under the influence and 23152(b) VC is driving under the influence with a BAC .08 or above.

  2. William J Sidis says:

    If we want to talk about “cover-ups”, ;let’s talk about CHP captain Whited, who crashed his state vehicle while drunk and left the scene. Deputies found him behind the wheel of his crashed car by the side of the road when it became disabled. He was blitzed. This is where the cover-up started. Idiot deputies, instead of getting on the radio to call CHP patrol OFFICERS to the scene for the arrest, instead get on the phone and call their supervisor, who in turn gets on their phone and calls CHP MANAGEMENT who calls other CHP MANAGEMENT to go get Whited and give him a ride home. A CHP CAPTAIN rushes to the scene and picks up Whited and whisks him away. Meanwhile, a suspicious CHP dispatcher calls the CHP PATROL officers in Templeton who responded to the scene post haste to arrest Whited…only to see him leaving with the CHP CAPTAIN just before they arrived on the scene. (At least that is the way I heard the story). It all started with the deputies NOT doing the right thing but instead getting sneaky and treating the situation differently by using the phone to call their supervisor.

  3. Rich in MB says:

    Why do the Cops (or any of these Agencies) think they can get away with things like this. They know it will eventually be found out and then the entire department will look bad. The Officers that did not Book and Photo the man arrested should be disciplined. This “some pigs are more equal than others” is a pervasive thing with people in Power as Orwell rightly penned in his famous piece Animal Farm.

    1. William J Sidis says:

      He did not get away with anything. He was arrested and charges were filed. It is protocol when dealing with misdemeanors to NOT book LE, judges, member’s of the DA’s department, etc. this is for the safety of those people who probably wouldn’t be safe in a cell with someone they might have arrested. Why the hang-up over no mug shot? The only reason mug shots are taken is to get a current photo. I would guess the CHP office already had a current photo of this officer. Nobody tried to cover up anything and nobody got special treatment. In rural offices such as King City they DO cite and release first time DUI arrestee’s(LE or not) as long as a sober adult will pick them up within a reasonable amount of time. This is so they don’t have to drive all the way to Salinas to book them. You guys really need to take a deep breath and relax and quit being so suspicious. Dana will pay for this, trust me.

  4. Fred65 says:

    A non-law enforcement person gets a DUI, is taken to jail and has a mug shot taken. The arresting officer takes then their drivers license. Truck drivers and pizza delivery drivers who get DUIs lose their jobs.

    While a CHP officer keeps his job, keeps his license, no jail time and no mugshot. Say it isn’t so.

    1. William J Sidis says:

      Not entirely correct. Their ID is indeed taken, they are then issued a DMV DS367 which is a temporary, 30 day license for them to keep driving. By the time the 30 days is up, they will have had a hearing with DMV as to whether their license is suspended, revoked, or restricted. Most first time DUI’s get a “Suspended except in course of employment” on their license from DMV.

  5. perk o late says:

    Gary Dana looks like the kind of officer that gives other officers a bad rap. It seems as though he doesn’t believe the rules apply to him.
    His selfie speaks volumes.
    No special treatment, a .15 is a .15 no matter who blows it.

    1. AngryTaxpayer says:

      Perk o…

      “It seems as though he doesn’t believe the rules apply to him.”

      Well, the rules that apply to us DON’T apply to him, so we can add “rational thinker” to “drunk driver” when describing officer Dana.

      The “rules” that cops use to ticket and arrest us definitely do not apply to them. They know this. We know this. Why should we expect them to behave as if it wasn’t true?

      I’m willing to bet that this isn’t the first time this guy showed up to work drunk, neither is it the last. I’ll also bet he’s not alone.

      You might remember another local LEO, Deputy Fellows of the sheriff’s department? He blew .19 after being pulled over for driving over 100mph on LOVR. He also was not arrested or convicted, and he also is still on the job, writing tickets for DUI, etc.

      Police are above the law today. That’s why they behave like they’re unaccountable….because they are.

      1. RightSaidFred says:

        Don’t let your anger blind you.

        Fellows was arrested (by CHP). If I’m not mistaken, he entered a plea agreement with the DA.

        So tell me again how the rules didn’t apply to these two folks. Both were arrested, both by CHP. They both have the rights that we all do which includes due process and that he’s innocent until the DA proves him guilty.

        If you were arrested today for DUI, should you literally lose your job tomorrow? Of course not.

        I don’t think there is enough reporting on how many people across all the agencies in this county are arrested for DUI on a weekly basis. Unless there is a special circumstance, you’ll never see the their arrest covered in the news or see their mugshot. I wonder if one or more pages of the TT, KSBY, CCN were devoted to mugshots of all DUI arrests, if it would have a deterrent effect on the crime.

        I’ll end with this, alcohol is the great equalizer in our world. Try as they might, law enforcement are still just human, like all of us. Yes, there are many examples of cover ups, but the CHP did the RIGHT thing in both of the cases. We should all support their decision to do the right thing and not get caught up in details like “he wasn’t booked or photographed”. Officer Dana will be held accountable for his mistakes just like we all would.

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