Aurora police officer fired after drunk driving crash
An Aurora police officer was fired after he allegedly drove his car into a tree while intoxicated and driving 55 mph in a residential neighborhood in Colorado Springs.
Interim police Chief Vanessa Wilson announced Monday that she fired Officer Jaired Dozier, who graduated from the police academy in August. As a new employee, he was still on probation and therefore can’t appeal his termination, Wilson said in a news release.
“Officer Dozier’s actions do not reflect the professionalism of those who wear this uniform and someone who should represent this organization,” Wilson said in the news release. “Since taking over as Aurora’s Interim Police Chief, I promised that I would not stand for or allow behavior like this in our agency.”
Dozier, 23, crashed his car on March 17 in a Colorado Springs neighborhood while off-duty. His car struck another vehicle parked on the side of the road, a mailbox, a school zone sign and a fence before crashing head-on into the tree and stopping, according to Colorado Springs police reports obtained by The Denver Post through a records request.
Officers estimated Dozier was traveling about 55 mph when he crashed, far above the 25 mph speed limit, the reports show. The car was moving so quickly that when it struck the tree, one of its headlights flew off and embedded in the wall of a nearby home, the reports state. The impact also snapped the tree.
Dozier was unstable on his feet at the scene, slurred his speech and smelled of alcohol, officers wrote in their reports. Dozier repeatedly told the responding officers that he worked for the Aurora Police Department.
“Mr. Dozier told me he was a police officer and I told him I was aware of that information and that it had no bearing on the investigation,” Colorado Springs Officer William Powers wrote in his report.
Dozier was transported from the scene to a hospital due to minor injuries from the crash.
“While Mr. Dozier was being evaluated I heard the doctor inquire as to the speed Mr. Dozier was driving and he said something to the effect of, ‘It’s okay, I know how to drive fast. I am a cop,’” Powers wrote in his report.
Dozier later told Powers that he drank two shots and two beers before driving, according to the reports.
Dozier faces charges of driving under the influence and careless driving in El Paso County court.
His arrest is the third time an Aurora police officer has been caught drunk driving in the past year. Officer Nate Meier passed out drunk in his department car while working on March 29, 2019. Meier was not fired by the previous police chief and did not face a criminal investigation.
Another officer, Annette Brook, was arrested on June 17 after crashing her car while driving drunk. She pleaded guilty in January to charges of driving under the influence and prohibited use of a weapon while drunk and was sentenced to home detention. Brook has since retired.
“Our officers continue to be out in our community, every single day, during this unprecedented time,” Wilson said in her statement Monday. “Their hard work and dedication should not be overshadowed with this one officer’s decisions he made while off-duty.”
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