Should police officers be held to a higher standard when it comes to drinking and driving? Let’s face it – cops are normal people just like you and me. They have their good parts and their bad sides too. If I was employing these officers I certainly would want them to conduct themselves in a legal and moral fashion on and off the job.
Mario Manuel Castro is a police officer, or should I say former police officer with a problem with alcohol. Last week as reported in the OC Weekly, he was caught driving on the wrong side of the road and toward a police officer.
Castro was convicted and sentencedfor California driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol with a .24 blood alcohol level on the wrong side of the road toward an oncoming marked police vehicle. Obviously Castro was lucky that he or someone else did not wind up dead.
The 33-year-old pleaded guilty to a court offer to one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of alcohol with a prior, one misdemeanor count of driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 percent or more with a prior, and a sentencing enhancement allegation for having a blood alcohol level over .15 percent.
Castro has a prior conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol inLos Angeles Countyin 2009. Castro was sentenced to 60 days in jail, five years of informal probation, and was ordered to complete an 18-month Multiple Offender Alcohol Program and attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving Victim Impact Panel.
The incident of course occurred in the middle of the night. At 2:15AM he was pulled over after getting hammered at a bar in Costa Mesa. To his credit, at least he was off-duty and not driving his police cruiser. But really, at .24 he deserves no credit!
When pulled over he displayed objective signs of alcohol intoxication including emitting strong odor of alcohol and extremely unsteady balance.
Shameful behavior by one of America’s finest. Hopefully with a solid alcohol class and some time in jail to think about his indiscretions, Castro can return to becoming a sober and positive influence in society.