Extreme DUI could cost Phoenix officer his job

Posted: Updated:
Robert Perez (Souce: Pinal County Sheriff's Office) Robert Perez (Souce: Pinal County Sheriff's Office)

A Phoenix police office is at risk of losing his job after being arrested for extreme drunk driving over the July 4 holiday weekend.

Ak-Chin Police arrested Robert M. Perez, 30, at 2:07 a.m. on July 5.

The arresting officer reported seeing a vehicle with only one headlight in the area of Highway 347 and Bart Road near Maricopa, which is south of Phoenix.
The law requires two functioning headlights. As the officer followed the vehicle, it reportedly was swerving from left to right and crossing the lane lines on both sides.

The Ak-Chin officer who pulled Perez over administered the standard field sobriety test and determined that Perez was under the influence.  

Court documents indicate that Perez was armed with a Ruger .380 handgun at the time of his arrest.

Also, the arresting officer wrote that Perez stated that he had been "diagnosed with PTSD and depression."  

The full report has not been released by the Ak-Chin Police Department, so it is not yet clear if Perez related his drinking to his reported mental-health condition.

When asked if they would have told if Perez were in fact diagnosed with PTSD, a Phoenix Police Department spokesman said that mental health or medical personnel would tell them only if Perez was deemed to be a danger to himself or others.

Perez has been with the Phoenix Police Department for seven years. He most recently has been assigned to the Centralized Booking Detail. That unit processes and transports arrestees so that patrol officers can be freed up quicker to return to the streets.

A task force formed by Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher is in the final stages of reviewing how the city handles mental health issues among first responders. The panel’s final report and recommendations were expected to be released at the end of last month, but the panel delayed its final version, which is now expected to be released in August. 

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