IOWA CITY — An Iowa City police officer is on paid administrative leave for a drunken-driving arrest in North Liberty earlier this month.
According to a North Liberty police criminal complaint, officers responded to the intersection of Dubuque and Front streets at 2:12 a.m. Feb. 10 for a report of a motorist who appeared to be passed out in the driver’s seat of a vehicle at the intersection. Police said the vehicle was straddling the centerline and the engine was running when officers arrived on scene.
Officers spoke with the driver, Carlos Trevino, Jr., 39, of North Liberty, who reportedly had bloodshot, watery eyes; “very slurred speech and a very strong scent of consumed alcohol coming from him,” according to the criminal complaint. Trevino is an Iowa City police officer currently assigned to the patrol division.
Police said Trevino had difficulty maintaining his balance and was unable to tell officers where he was. He refused field sobriety tests and a breath test administered at the Coralville Police Department showed Trevino had a blood alcohol content of .197 percent. The legal limit to operate a motor vehicle in Iowa is .08 percent.
North Liberty Police Chief Diane Venenga said the arresting officer did not initially know Trevino was a police officer. She added that, had the officer known about Trevino’s employment, he would not have received any different treatment.
“We can’t do anything different,” Venenga said.
Venenga said Trevino was hospitalized rather than taken directly to the hospital and allowed to turn himself in on a warrant for first offense drunken driving.
“We’d do that for anybody,” she said. “It’s not a professional courtesy.”
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Jail records show Trevino was booked at the Johnson County Jail Wednesday afternoon and released 10 minutes later.
Iowa City police Sgt. Scott Gaarde said Trevino is on a paid administrative leave from the department, pending the outcome of an internal investigation.