BASTROP, Texas (KXAN) — A Bastrop County deputy who was arrested on a DWI charge, by his own department, was on-duty at the time of his arrest. Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office says on Friday morning, the department was notified by dispatchers that the information being transmitted by Deputy Fred Ensinger over the county radio was “slurred” and did not make sense.
When a sergeant went to check on Ensinger, 43, around 8:30 a.m. he found him in his patrol car parked at a mobile home park on Navasota Street in Bastrop County. The sergeant noted as he spoke to Ensinger he smelled an odor of alcohol on his breath, according to an arrest affidavit. When the sergeant searched the deputy’s patrol car, he found an open quart-sized bottle of vodka, that was a one-third full, in an open backpack in the front passenger seat, continued in the affidavit. The search also revealed an empty bottle of prescription medication.
A neighbor at the mobile home park where Ensinger was arrested said she was told a deputy was sick when she inquired about why the patrols cars were in front of her home.
Officials say the sergeant took Ensinger to the Sheriff’s Office where a search warrant for a blood specimen was obtained and executed. At the time, the suspect volunteered to give a breathalyzer test but refused the blood draw, according to the court document. Ensinger was booked into the Bastrop County Jail for driving while intoxicated with an open container. He was released a few hours later on a Personal Recognizance (PR) bond.
The deputy is currently on paid administrative leave as the department investigates the incident. Ensinger started working with the Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office in May 2015, where he started as a jailer. He transferred to the patrol division in September and is currently assigned to the 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. patrol shift. Prior to working for Bastrop County, he was a Game Warden for Texas Parks and Wildlife. BCSO said he is now on paid administrative leave.
Ensinger is currently running for Bastrop County Presinct 3 Commissioner as a Republican candidate. According to Bastrop County Elections records, Ensinger is the only candidate of the three primary candidates who has not filed his campaign finance report., which was due Jan. 15.
“I cannot comment on the accuracy of the charges but certainly our conduct as officeholders or candidates does matter to the voting public,” says Bastrop County Republican Party Chairman Albert Ellison of Ensinger’s arrest.
Ironically, Ensinger ran for the same office in 2012 and was defeated by John Klaus, the current commissioner. Klaus himself was arrested for DWI just weeks into his term and is not seeking re-election.
APD on Drunk Driving
In 2014, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo implemented a zero tolerance policy for officers and support staff who drive drunk. The zero tolerance policy applies regardless of whether criminal charges are dismissed. At APD, if an internal police administrative investigation finds that a civilian employee drove drunk, he or she will automatically be fired. Previously, the Austin police chief had discretion on whether to fire officers for a DWI arrest.
Last year, an Austin police officer was fired after he was pulled over by a colleague for driving while intoxicated,