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Published: Saturday, 2/23/2002

Toledo officer ordered to driver intervention course

A Toledo police officer who was convicted of drunken driving in an accident that injured his three daughters will spend three days in a driver intervention program, perform community service, and be on probation for a year.

David Vasquez, 36, of Toledo, who joined the department in 1990, was sentenced yesterday by Toledo Municipal Court Judge Arlene Singer. He was found guilty Jan. 22 of the DUI charge after pleading no contest.

The judge ordered Officer Vasquez to spend 45 days in the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio with all but three of the days suspended. The three days will be suspended upon completion of the driver intervention program. He was ordered to pay $606 in fines and court costs, perform 40 hours of community service by March 22, and comply with treatment and counseling directives from an assessment report and his probation officer.

His driver's license was suspended for 180 days, starting Jan. 14. Occupational driving privileges, which means he can drive to and from work, were granted beginning Jan. 29.

"He pretty much was treated like anyone else would have been," said Gregg Harris, president of the Toledo Police Patrolman's Association.

The department is continuing an internal investigation. Administrative charges have not been filed. The uniformed officer at the northwest district station remains on desk duty, Deputy Chief Linda Mason said.

Officer Vasquez was arrested and released after the accident about 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14 in the 200 block of South Avenue. He was driving east on South in his personal car with his three daughters when he veered right and hit the rear of an unoccupied parked car.

The car hit another unoccupied parked car, which struck a unoccupied city water vehicle. Authorities said his blood-alcohol level was 0.181 percent during a Breathalyzer test. The legal limit for driving in Ohio is 0.10 percent. He initially was charged with DUI and failure to control. The DUI charge was amended and Judge Singer last month dismissed the failure to control charge.

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