AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – The Aurora Police Department is responding after an on-duty officers was found drunk behind the wheel of a patrol car. Nate Meier was found intoxicated, with his patrol car in gear and his foot on the brake. He was not arrested but was later disciplined and demoted.

Nate Meier (credit: CBS)

According to an internal affairs report obtained by CBS4, two citizens called 911 on March 29 at 3:44 p.m.

“As I was passing I had to go around [the car] I could tell the gentleman in the car was kind of slumped over and passed out,” said one woman who wanted to remain anonymous. She went back to check on the driver.

“As I kind of kept knocking and trying to get his attention he would kind of open his eyes a little bit and glaze but he wasn’t coherent at all… and then I noticed he had an Aurora Police Department badge,” she told CBS4. That’s when she called for help.

“I wasn’t sure if it was alcohol but I knew it was some kind of something,” she added.

(credit: CBS)

When Meier, 48, didn’t respond to attempts to wake him up, first responders smashed a car window to get him out. Officers then “reported smelling the odor of an unknown alcoholic beverage.” Meier was not taken into custody or charged, but was taken to an area hospital.

He later told investigators he had gone home on duty and and drank “vodka from a bottle.” Meier lives in Parker. He admitted he was “impaired by the alcohol,” according to police investigators.

Multiple sources familiar with the case said blood alcohol tests at the hospital showed Meier was at least five times the legal limit for DUI.

The Aurora Police Department defended their decision to not give Meier a breathalyzer test that day, saying in part, “Due to an inability to exclude a medical condition, and absent confirmatory information, a DUI investigation was not conducted.”

On Thursday, Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith blasted the Aurora Police Department’s handling of the episode — saying he was “appalled” and suggesting the incident was a police cover-up.

“I don’t see anything that says preferential treatment,” said Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler. “But, I want to know more… We’re trying to evaluate what the Aurora Police Department did.”

George Brauchler (credit: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)

Brauchler took action after the CBS4 investigation broke news surrounding an incident involving Meier.

Comments (4)
  1. JOHN L Baker says:

    I am a 30 year, retired sergeant-I support the Aurora Police and all my brother and sisters, but the handling of this debacle is embarrassing to the shield. If he has medical issues-retire him, but don’t ignore that he was drunk in a police unit with uniform and weapon. My heart bleeds blue for the Aurora team that must be cringing with this.

  2. Jon Stastny says:

    1 drunk cop, how many lying cops protecting him?! 1 stupid act by a retiring chief, 1 giant act for cop haters everywhere!!

  3. Vince says:

    Admits drinking Vodka on duty. 5 times of limit. Asleep at the wheel of his patrol car. Noticeable smell of alcohol. But Brauchler doesn’t see preferential treatment with no dui charge or termination? Where did this clown get his law degree?
    Write the Governer to get this Officer fired and prosecuted. Along with those within the APD that covered this up.

  4. Hoss says:

    Typical Aurora Police Department covering up a drunk officer near 5 times the legal limit. “I noticed very little smell” Hahahaha!!! He should have been arrested and fired. Brauchler is once again in Metz’s pocket. Justin Smith is 100% correct. The blue silence. I’m surprised they didn’t just drive him home and tuck him in. Hey Metz, 4 million is my guess on the old guy in pajamas in North Aurora your officer killed without even saying he was a police officer. Where’s the 40,000 that the other guy took and hasn’t repayed?

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