Cop Involved in Fatal Accident Was Drunk: Police

Tests show off-duty officer had blood alcohol content twice the legal limit

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Blood tests show an off-duty Fort Worth police officer involved in an accident that killed a woman last Friday was legally drunk, police said Thursday.

    Officer Jesus Cisneros had a blood alcohol content of .17 -- more than twice the legal limit -- when his unmarked police SUV collided with a car driven by Sonia Baker about 2:30 a.m. The legal limit is .08.

    Cop Involved in Fatal Accident Was Drunk: Police

    [DFW] Cop Involved in Fatal Accident Was Drunk: Police
    Officer's blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit. (Published Thursday, Dec 17, 2009)

    Baker died at the scene.

    "We knew he had to be drunk," said Baker's mother, Stella Lopez. "We just didn't know how bad it was. And now we found out double the legal limit? Shame on you, Fort Worth police."

    Police Chief Jeffrey Halstead issued a written statement.

    "This tragedy has shocked the conscience of this department," he said  "I will deal swiftly with Officer Cisneros. The police department is deeply saddened for the Baker family. We are embarrassed by this tragic incident."

    Mayor Mike Moncrief also released a statement expressing outrage over the incident.

    "If the facts are as presented, the actions by this officer are completely unacceptable," he said. "They certainly do not represent the good men and women of our police department."

    Investigators will focus their investigation on intoxication manslaughter, police said, but some legal experts question whether that charge applies in this case.

    Police have suggested Baker may have been at fault in the accident because she pulled out from a stop sign into his path on Columbus Trail.

    Fort Worth defense attorney Reagan Wynn said, "Under our law, basically you could be wholly intoxicated. But if you're driving down the road and some set of circumstances arise, and Mario Andretti couldn't have avoided them, and you get in a wreck and someone dies, you're not guilty of intoxication manslaughter."

    Wynn is not involved in this case.

    Baker, the mother of two boys ages 4 and 5, was on her way to pick up breakfast before heading to work, her husband said.

    Cisneros has been an officer in Fort Worth since September 2001 and is assigned to the narcotics unit. He was placed on restricted duty after the accident.