The Washington Post

Pr. George’s police officer found not guilty of attempted drunk driving charge

A Prince George’s County police officer charged earlier this year with attempting to drive a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol after he crashed his marked police cruiser in the Bladensburg area was acquitted Monday, prosecutors said.

Officer Daniel Gonzalez — who was charged in May after he crashed his cruiser at Route 1 and Tanglewood Drive — was acquitted after a trial in Prince George’s County District Court, prosecutors said. Prince George's County State’s Attorney’s Office spokesman John Erzen said Prince George’s County District Court Judge G. Richard Collins ruled prosecutors did not present enough evidence demonstrating Gonzalez was “actually driving the vehicle,” despite the testimony of a tow truck driver who claimed to have seen the officer getting out of the cruiser’s driver’s side door.

Erzen said Gonzalez was off-duty, though driving his police car, during the crash. A Prince George’s County police spokeswoman said Friday that Gonzalez is on desk duty — his police powers still suspended — while an administrative investigation of the incident is completed.

This post has been updated.

Matt Zapotosky covers the federal district courthouse in Alexandria, where he tries to break news from a windowless office in which he is not allowed to bring his cell phone.

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