AUSTIN (KXAN) — An arbitrator has decided to reinstate an Austin police officer following a DWI arrest last year.
Officer Albert “Matt” Arevalo was stopped while off-duty by fellow officers on the morning of May 21, 2015 for speeding on N. MoPac Expressway.
Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday, in a letter Friday, said an arbitrator mandated Arevalo should serve a 180-day suspension and receive back pay for any days over the 180-day suspension. “I am happy that Officer Arevalo got this job back,” Casaday said. “However, we all need to be reminded that DWI kills people daily. I also understand that we have a very arduous job and sometimes we make mistakes.”
Arevalo told investigators he went out with his friends and the group went to six different bars, having a drink at each in a four-hour span.
He had alcohol levels of .175 and .178 after he submitted to breath and blood tests – more than twice the legal limit.
In 2014, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo enacted a stricter, “zero tolerance” policy for officers and support staff who drive drunk. The policy results in a dismissal even if criminal charges are dismissed.
At the time, APD Assistant Chief Brian Manley said, “I think as the administrators of this Department we owe it back to the community to hold ourselves to the standard that we expect the community to be held to as well.”
Arevalo served on the department’s DWI enforcement team for three years.