New LAPD policy lowers off-duty drinking limit for armed officers
It will now be a violation for an officer to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.04% or higher while armed
By Ashley Silver
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Police Department has tightened its alcohol policy in response to cases of off-duty LEOs drinking while armed.
According to the Los Angeles Times, statistics presented at a recent commission meeting showed the department fielded at least 35 drug and alcohol-related complaints last year, with 18 ending in arrests. These statistics reportedly prompted the LAPD to tighten its policy on off-duty officers drinking alcohol while armed, now making it a violation for an officer to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.04% or higher.
The Civilian Police Commission, which oversees the department, voted this week to implement the policy change. It now completely prohibits officers who are carrying firearms while off duty from drinking “to the extent that it causes impairment.”
There are limitations to the policy, which only requires officers to take a sobriety test if they “exhibit objective symptoms of being under the influence of alcohol, or where there is reasonable and articulable suspicion that the employee has consumed an alcoholic beverage,” according to the policy document.
The 0.04% blood-alcohol limit is half the legal limit for determining if someone is driving under the influence in California.