The San Diego District Attorney’s Office has decided against filing criminal charges against three San Diego police sergeants and one San Diego detective who delayed launching an official investigation into the DUI related accident of an off-duty colleague.
At 12:50 a.m. on December 7, 2012, off-duty detective, Jeffrey Blackford drove his gang-unit vehicle into a roadside utility box in the residential neighborhood of Allied Gardens, San Diego. Instead of reporting the incident, Blackford called two off-duty buddies, Sergeant John Iammarino and Detective Daniel Caropreso.
Sometime later, Iammarino called two other on-duty sergeants, William Brown and Christopher Tivanian. Tivanian was asked to bring a PAS test, or a preliminary breathalyzer. The results of the PAS test were not reported. Is anybody else curious as to why it wasn’t reported? I am.
It was not until 2:15 a.m. when an on-duty traffic officer was called to the scene. And it wasn’t until 3:59 a.m. that Blackford was finally tested with an Intoxilyzer breathalyzer test. Had it been any other motorist suspected of a DUI involved accident, law enforcement officers would have properly tested the motorist within minutes of arriving. Apparently when you’re an off-duty officer suspected of drunk driving, you won’t be tested for three hours and nine minutes.
And what were the results of the breathalyzer after three hours and nine minutes? Blackford’s blood alcohol content was determined to be a 0.09, just barely above the legal limit. Now I bet you’re really wondering what the result of that first PAS was.
Other than to maybe allow Blackford’s BAC to drop, are you also wonder why else the delay? My imagination keeps taking me to a conversation amongst the officers that sounds a little something like, “Should we or shouldn’t we.” It’s a little disconcerting to even have to speculate whether the officers were debating on enforcing the law, which is their job.
Blackford pleaded guilty to drunk driving this past April. But as for the other four officers, no charges will be filed by the San Diego District Attorney’s Office.
Not surprisingly, a spokesman for the San Diego Police Department said that the agency was pleased with the decision not to prosecute.