Fort Worth officer fired on DWI accusation

Posted Friday, Mar. 15, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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FORT WORTH -- Fort Worth police have fired a DWI enforcement officer whose arrest in January on suspicion of drunken driving -- the latest in a string of Fort Worth officers accused of driving drunk -- prompted a frustrated Police Chief Jeff Halstead to announce tougher measures on how he'll deal with such allegations in the future.

Nicolas Ramirez's indefinite suspension took effect Tuesday, according to a disciplinary letter filed Thursday with the Civil Service Commission.

He had not appealed as of Friday morning.

Ramirez, 32, was off-duty and driving his personal vehicle about 12:56 a.m. Jan. 2 when he was spotted by a Keller police officer drifting twice onto the shoulder of the 1700 block of Texas 114 in Westlake. The town of Westlake contracts with Keller for police service.

The officer pulled over Ramirez, who he noted had a light odor of an alcohol beverage, the letter states.

Ramirez was arrested on suspicion of DWI after failing a field sobriety test. He subsequently submitted to two breath tests. One showed a blood alcohol level of 0.188 and the other, 0.194 -- both more than twice the legal limit of 0.08.

Ramirez has been charged with DWI with a blood alcohol level over 0.15, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine. He had been free on $1,500 bond since shortly after his arrest.

The day after Ramirez's arrest, Halstead held a press conference, vowing that -- starting that day -- he would fire any police officer whom is subsequently arrested for DWI and whom internal investigators determine was driving drunk. The chief also said he would no longer wait for a DWI case to be resolved in the criminal justice system before ruling on an officer's discipline.

Previously, Halstead had handled DWI case by case with punishments ranging from 15-day suspensions to termination.

Ramirez's attorney with the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas could not be reached immediately for comment.

Ramirez had been with the department since 2009 and was working as DWI enforcement officer at the time of his arrest.

Deanna Boyd, (817) 390-7655

Twitter: @deannaboyd

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