It’s ok to have a drink. Hell, it’s ok to have two drinks. But as a police officer on duty, it is NOT ok to drink to the point of passing out in a police car. It is NOT ok to drink while you are on duty. And it is definitely NOT ok for you to target civilians for drinking and driving when your command chain does it regularly. But officers of the law seem to think they are above the law they enforce. Who is really going to police the police? More police? That just might be the case.
An LAPD commander and sergeant have been charged in connection with a liquor-fueled incident in April. Glendale police say they found both the commander and the sergeant passed out and intoxicated inside an unmarked cop car.
Cmdr. Nicole Mehringer has been charged with a single misdemeanor count of public intoxication. Sgt. James Kelly, the driver and department supervisor, has been charged with one count of driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage and one count of driving with a .08% blood-alcohol content.
Let that sink in. The commander, riding shotgun, was intoxicated. Her driver, Sgt. Kelly, was blowed. He is facing more charges than the commander.
Officers were investigating a one-car-crash on Brand Boulevard around 1:30 a.m. when they realized the people in the car were fellow police officers. Glendale police spokesperson, Sgt. Dan Suttles, said the crash was minor but Mehringer was detained because she appeared to be under the influence. She was not formally arrested and initially was not going to face any charges.
Kelly, on the other hand, was formally arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. According to Suttles, Kelly was going to face charges. Both were booked into Glendale jail and than released three hours later.
Glendale cops witnessed the pair’s vehicle “come to rest” against another vehicle. No one was hurt but officers suspected the two had been drinking. Officers quickly determined that they were intoxicated and upon questioning, the commander became belligerent and incessant. It took officers about 20 minutes to get them out of the police cruiser, which had rolled into a silver Mercedes-Benz.
The commander and sergeant were “relieved of duty without pay since July 11, 2018, pending a disciplinary investigation,” LAPD Capt. Patricia Sandoval said.
Prosecutors at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed the charges on Aug. 31. Charging documents state Kelly, who was behind the wheel of the police Dodge Charger, had a blood-alcohol level that was .20% or more — more than twice the legal limit under California law. Both officers are expected to make their first appearance Wednesday.
A video of the incident obtained by KTTV-TV Channel 11 shows the commander being pulled from the car. She has her hands behind her back and her shirt pulled up. Kelly is seen dressed in a blue dress shirt struggling to walk a straight line. At one point, Glendale officers have to keep him from falling. You can watch the video below.