AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) - An Aurora police officer caught driving a department vehicle while drunk, on duty, in uniform, with his gun, remains on the job, a CBS4 Investigation has uncovered. Officer Nate Meier, 48, of Parker, also never faced a criminal DUI case in connection with the March 2019 incident.
According to an internal affairs summary of evidence against Meier obtained by CBS4 Investigates, two citizens called 911 on March 29 at 3:44 p.m. after finding the officer unconscious and unresponsive in the driver's seat of his unmarked APD vehicle near Buckley Air Force Base. He was on duty, in uniform, operating an unmarked APD vehicle and was armed with his duty weapon at the time. His car was running and in gear and his foot was on the brake according to police.
When Meier didn't respond to attempts to wake him up and open his door, the fire department broke out his window. According to the internal affairs summary, APD officers "reported smelling the odor of an unknown alcoholic beverage."
The internal affairs summary said Meier later admitted he had gone home and drank "vodka from a bottle" while at home and "still on duty." It went on to say Meier admitted he was "impaired by the alcohol."
The summary also said Meier told police he "had no recollections of anything else until (Meier) woke up in the hospital."
The internal affairs investigation sustained charges against Meier for alcohol impairment, neglect of duty, conduct unbecoming and "conformance to law." Documents provided to CBS4 did not specify what discipline was imposed, but several Aurora police contacts said Meier was demoted over the incident.
A Colorado court database shows no DUI or DWAI charges ever filed against Meier nor any other criminal charges, such as prohibited use of a weapon, in connection with the March incident.
Crystal McCoy, a spokesperson for the Aurora Police Department, told CBS4 when fellow officers arrived on the scene, "it wasn't clear what was going on with him."
She said Meier could have been experiencing a diabetic episode or a stroke. And although there might have been indications of drinking and driving, McCoy went on to say police did not have the authority to get Meier's blood drawn since there had not been an accident and nobody had been injured.
"He had an unknown medical condition," said McCoy.
McCoy said Meier later voluntarily provided his medical records to the department, which showed alcohol in his system. Several sources familiar with the Meier case told CBS4 Meier's blood alcohol was more than five times the legal limit for DUI.
McCoy said Meier's willingness to later share his medical records with the department showed, "He chose to be honest."
Robert Boisselle, the department's records coordinator, said, "Officer Meier is currently detailed to the Investigation Bureau for Economic Crimes and Pawn Detail." Posts by Aurora Police indicate Meier used to serve on the department's gang unit.
A phone call to Meier did not elicit an immediate response.
In his 2001 job application to the Aurora Police Department, Meier said he had previously worked for the Greeley Police department and had spent two years with the University of Northern Colorado Police Department. Asked if he had ever been fired by a previous employer, Meier responded "yes." He also said he had received a formal written reprimand previously, had been investigated for improper conduct or illegal activities, had been convicted of a misdemeanor, and had engaged in "undetected theft of goods or property."
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