Crime

Off-duty Fort Worth officer arrested on suspicion of DWI

After 522 days with no DWI arrests of a Fort Worth police officer, the number returned to zero early Monday on the arrest of an off-duty officer in Haltom City.

Carl Duque, a 17-year police employee who is assigned to the bike unit, was stopped for a traffic violation by Haltom City officers just after midnight Monday and was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

He was released on $1,000 bail and has been placed on restricted duty.

“His gun and badge have been confiscated and he is no longer authorized to act in any capacity as a peace officer pending the outcome of the investigation,” Fort Worth police said in a news release Tuesday afternoon.

According to Haltom City police, Duque was speeding in the 5100 block of Northeast Loop 820 and was stopped in the 6600 block of the freeway. He was driving his vehicle and was arrested without incident, according to a news release.

He provided a blood sample to police, but results were not available Tuesday.

“We will present our evidence at the time of trial,” said Jim Lane, Duque’s defense attorney.

Downtrodden by a series of DWI arrests of officers that included his own chief of staff, and by a wreck that killed a young mother and sent a former Fort Worth officer to prison, Police Chief Jeff Halstead implemented mandatory alcohol awareness training and expanded peer and mentoring programs.

He also instituted a zero-tolerance policy, saying that any officer whose DWI accusation is “sustained” by internal affairs will be quickly fired, even before the case goes to trial.

On the first day of 2013, after announcing to officers his goal of the department being “DWI FREE in 1-3”, he installed a tally board outside his office. He and his staff updated it daily with the number of days since the department’s last DWI arrest, celebrating in June when it reached a year.

He set a new goal of 1,000 days and was more than halfway there when he learned of Duque’s arrest Monday.

"I am restricted from commenting specifically on this case, criminally and/or administratively, but will say Officer Duque is an outstanding police officer and we hope he is getting the support he deserves,” Halstead said in an email Tuesday. “...We achieved a milestone of 522 days without this type of arrest. Our focus has not been altered; we will continue to remain dedicated to our individual wellness and support for each other."

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