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Santa Clara Sheriff's Deputy Arrested for DUI

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Earlier this month, a Santa Clara Sheriff’s deputy was arrested in Santa Clara after he allegedly drove into a Jack in the Box drive-thru under the influence of alcohol while brandishing a gun, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

The deputy, B. Lee, 33, was arrested shortly before 3:00 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 10 at the Jack in the Box located in the 900 block of El Camino Real, according to the police.

Lee’s arrest went smooth and without incident. He was taken to the station and booked on suspicion of brandishing a weapon and DUI, said Lt. Kurt Clarke.

According to a statement released by the Sheriff’s Office, at the time of Lee’s arrest the deputy was not on duty. Since his arrest, Lee was released and placed on administrative leave while his investigation is underway.

Roger Winslow, the vice president of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association, an organization that represents law enforcement deputies nationwide, said in a statement that the union is saddened by Lee’s arrest.

Winslow said that their deputies make arrests for these crimes regularly, explaining that they see the consequences of impaired driving firsthand.

“DUI by anyone is unacceptable; doubly so when it involves a deputy sheriff. We are held to a higher standard and rightly so,” Winslow said.

Fortunately for Lee, he does have Winslow’s support to some extent, who warned against a rush judgement in Lee’s case.

“We fully expect that appropriate action will be taken after all the facts are determined,” he said.

Alcoholism in Law Enforcement

While we don’t know the facts of Lee’s case, or if he has a drinking “problem,” we do know that law enforcement officers are under a great deal of stress, and that many of them turn to the bottle to help them cope with the everyday stressors of their jobs.

According to an article in Police Chief Magazine, there is a link between alcohol and substance abuse and law enforcement. One of the greatest factors faced by law enforcement stem from the constant exposure to stressful and highly-upsetting situations.

A 2011 study found that 18.1 percent of male officers and 16 percent of female officers described experiencing adverse consequences of alcohol. In a study by Peter Weiss, nearly 50 percent of the lowest performing officers of the 632 respondents exhibited “alcohol issues.”

We’re sure we’re only scratching the surface on this topic, that it goes much deeper.

At the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc., we are sensitive to the fact that law enforcement and civilians will sometimes turn to alcohol as a “coping” mechanism for life’s problems, and we do everything we can to help the DUI defendant achieve the best possible result.

If you are facing DUI charges in Orange County, don’t wait – contact us now for a free consultation!