Wednesday, August 22, 2018

An off-duty New Berlin police officer was driving drunk. Waukesha police didn't cite him.

From JSOnline:

, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Published 2:24 p.m. CT Aug. 21, 2018 | Updated 4:29 p.m. CT Aug. 21, 2018

In a screenshot of dashcam video, Waukesha Police Department Officer Bryan Spakowicz speaks to the driver, Jacob Burow, during a traffic stop.(Photo: Waukesha Police Department)

WAUKESHA - As two Waukesha police officers returned to their squad cars to perform a driver’s license check on a 22-year-old man who was pulled over, they wondered if they were dealing with an off-duty cop.

One of them showed the license to the other. He mouthed the words “law enforcement officer,” so the nearby dashcam couldn’t pick up what he was asking.

They texted a New Berlin officer and confirmed their suspicions: the driver, named Zachary Burow, who told the Waukesha officers he drank “two beers” earlier that night, was a new cop in New Berlin, still on probationary status.

Officer Bryan Spakowicz, who conducted the traffic stop, later told New Berlin command staff during their investigation into the incident that, normally, he would run an ordinary citizen through standardized field sobriety tests if they indicated to him they drank “two beers” sometime before being pulled over.

Spakowicz also recognized Burow had glassy eyes and knew he was coming from a bar.

But before Spakowicz approached the suspect vehicle a second time, he turned off the audio for his dashcam. He later told New Berlin command staff what he said when he returned to the driver’s window:

“I don’t think you are impaired, but why don’t you pull over and I will give you a PBT (preliminary breath test). I am not going to arrest you. If you had too much, then we will get you a ride home.”

Burow blew a 0.083 blood-alcohol concentration, just over the legal limit. The Waukesha officers did not arrest or cite him.

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