Attorney, former police officer weigh in on Scottsdale detective DUI arrest

In a time when relations between some police departments and community members have been strained, Darren Burch says these types of cases don’t help.
Published: Nov. 7, 2022 at 5:31 PM MST|Updated: Nov. 8, 2022 at 11:48 AM MST
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SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A Scottsdale Police Department detective was arrested over the weekend, accused of driving under the influence and crashing into another car. Police say Detective Michael Lanouar was off-duty in a city-leased vehicle.

The crash happened Friday around 10 p.m. near Pima and Indian School Roads, less than a mile from Scottsdale Police Department. Two people were inside the car that Lanouar crashed into and were taken to the hospital for observation. “It’s disgusting to be in a police vehicle of any kind where you’re a police officer, there for the purpose of protecting the public, and you are the one putting them at danger,” said Darren Burch, a former Phoenix police officer with nearly 30 years of experience.

In a time when relations between some police departments and community members have been strained, Burch says these types of cases don’t help. “When police do things like this, a criminal act that smears the badge tarnishes the reputation of all police officers, it hurts all of us,” he said.

Aside from the department’s internal investigation, there is also a criminal investigation. “It’s important to know that there aren’t any separate laws for police officers. On one hand, there is no law prohibiting an officer from getting drunk while off duty. On the other hand, there is no allowance for an officer to be driving drunk at any time and especially not in a department issued car,” said Logan Elia, a litigation attorney with Rose Law Group.

Lanouar was arrested and booked, but charges have not been submitted. Elia says that’s common. “Arizona has the harshest DUI laws in the nation. In Arizona, a DUI conviction is incarceration mandatory. So if he is convicted of DUI, there is a guarantee that he’ll spend at least 24 hours in jail,” he said.

In this case, because people were taken to the hospital, Elia says there could be a civil case against the officer and the department. “It’s possible the department may face some liability stemming from the use of it’s vehicle in an accident,” he said.

It’s unclear how long Lanouar has been with the department or his status while the investigation continues. On Tuesday, Scottsdale Police announced that they will not be releasing a mugshot for Lanouar.