How Can Police Who Break the Law Enforce the Law?
Police arrested their colleague last week on a DWI charge, the second alcohol related arrest for the Fort Worth police officer in the past five years.
Evan Wincovitch was involved in a minor, single-vehicle fender-bender last Tuesday early on 2:30 AM in the 8300 block of Randol Mill Road. Fort Worth officers arrested Mr. Wincovitch, whom they suspected of driving while intoxicated.
The Fort Worth Police Department has placed Mr. Wincovitch on restricted duty status and confiscated his badge and gun. He was released on bail Tuesday night.
Officer Got Off Easy in 2010 Arrest
Mr. Wincovitch joined the Fort Worth Police Department in 2008. He was arrested in 2010 for public intoxication. Howevera more appropriate charge in that incident would have been DWI.
Saginaw police saw Officer Wincovitch walking along the side of the road with apparent injuries to his face and body. They noticed he smelled of alcohol and had numerous cuts. The Saginaw officers then found his 1995 Chevrolet Suburban abandoned on train tracks at Railhead Road in the 4800 block. Mr. Wincovitch’s SUV contained several empty bottles of beer, his cellphone and his citation book.
He admitted to internal investigators that he drank about seven and one-half alcoholic beverages, including a liquor shot, during the six hours prior to crashing his vehicle.
He pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor and was sentenced to 30 days of deferred disposition, which allowed his charge to be dismissed once he paid a traffic ticket and avoided further problems during that short period. He completed an anti-alcohol class sponsored by the department and served a three-day suspension from the force. He subsequently returned to duty.
The then-Police Chief Jeffrey Halstead announced that the department was cracking down on the increasing problem of officers’ alcohol-related arrests.
Epidemic of Drunk Driving Officers
During the first four years that Chief Halstead was in charge of the FWPD, 14 police officers were arrested for DWI. Chief Halstead responded that the department would not tolerate this
conduct. Cracking down worked. Hopefully the department is not backsliding, considering Mr. Wincovitch’s arrest
is the second Fort Worth police officer arrested since December 2014.
Driving drunk is intolerable behavior for anyone, but especially for the women
and men who are supposed to protect us by enforcing Texas’s drunk
driving laws. If you were injured by a drunk driver, Bill Berenson can help. Call my office at 817-885-8000 for a free consultation.