Fort Worth officer accused of DWI is fired

Posted Friday, Mar. 15, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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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 for dealing with such cases.

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.

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

The officer pulled over Ramirez and detected a slight odor of alcohol, the letter states.

Ramirez was arrested on suspicion of DWI after failing a field sobriety test. He 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 has been free on $1,500 bail since shortly after his arrest.

The day after the arrest, Halstead held a news conference and vowed that -- starting that day -- he would fire any officer who is arrested for DWI and found by internal investigators to have driven drunk.

The chief also said he would no longer wait for a DWI case to be resolved in the 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 for comment. Ramirez had been with the department since 2009.

Deanna Boyd, 817-390-7655

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