Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Late Timing of Detention Officer's DUI Arrest Questioned

Maricopa County Sheriff's detention officer Adrian Salazar Guzman

GOODYEAR, Ariz. - A 26-year-old woman died in an accident caused by a suspected drunk driver -- and that driver, a Maricopa County Sheriff's detention officer, wasn't arrested until two weeks after the crime.

Adrian Salazar Guzman had a blood alcohol level of nearly 3 times the legal limit. It has many people asking why his arrest took so long.

Guzman has been charged with negligent homicide and several DUI-related charges in the death of 26-year-old Alisha Trejo. Court documents allege he ran a stop sign and hit Trejo, who was on a motorcycle stopped at the Goodyear intersection.

Her leg was amputated as a result of the impact and she died instantly.

At the hospital, Guzman admitted he had been drinking since 10 a.m. and felt "buzzed." A blood alcohol test taken by nurses at 2 a.m. registered at .225. At 4:23 a.m., DPS procured a search warrant and took another blood test, and the result was .14. The legal limit in Arizona is .08.

The accident happened on Oct. 16. But Guzman wasn't arrested until Oct. 29, nearly two weeks later. We've been trying to stay on top of this, but Goodyear Police has been very uncooperative with our questions and gave us the runaround.

FOX 10 wanted to know if this was standard procedure for Goodyear Police.

We called John Rowan with the department, and he says, Guzman's case was handled properly. When we asked him whether or not Guzman was given preferential treatment because he is a detention officer, the phone call was ended abruptly. We tried calling him back several times thereafter, and he didn't return the call.

It's a question that Alisha's grieving family also wants to know.

We called two law agencies in town to ask them what they think about the situation. One said that if a person was in the same position as Guzman, it is possible that he could have been released the same day. The agency would have slapped the driver with a DUI charge, opened an investigation, and then later on added a homicide charge in court.

The second agency said there is no way that guy should've been walking. The agency said it could take up to two weeks to get an accurate blood alcohol level read, but if a suspected drunk driver killed someone, it's just too serious. That driver should be taken to jail and not let out on the streets.

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