ALBANY, N.Y. – A verdict has been reached in the case of an Albany police officer accused of drinking and driving back in December 2010.
Brian Lutz was found not guilty of DWI, but was convicted Thursday of Driving While Ability Impaired. He will lose his license for 90 days, pay a $885 fine, and must sit through a victim impact panel.
Honorable Lisa Ann Proskin was the judge during Thursday's bench trial and she made the final decision on the case.
Lutz was arrested after a driver-by reported to police there was a stopped car in a highway lane. Police found Lutz passed out in his SUV, which was idling in park with the headlights on and the door open with vomit nearby. Once Lutz was woken up, he was asked to pull to the side of the highway, but drove away instead. He was eventually stopped on Broadway. He was charges with DWI and refusing a breath test after allegedly driving down 787 the wrong way. Court documents show Lutz believed he was in his bedroom at the time.
Lutz admitted he'd consumed "four to five beers and at least part of one shot," the night he was arrested.
His lawyer, David Brickman, says he is pleaded overall with the outcome.
"I'm very grateful, for the process and I'm happy for my client. I think it's a great result and a fair result," said Brickman.
His arrest video was eventually released, and can be viewed here.
He was fired from the force in May 2011 after losing his license, which meant he failed to meet the minimum qualifications of a police officer in the City of Albany.
But the decision was overturned by the Appellate Division panel which stated that Albany Chief Steven Krokoff erred in terminating Lutz and saying a license is a minimum qualification.
Justice Karen Peters writes the only defined minimum requirement is a high school equivalency.
The Albany Police Department says it will continue its administrative action against Brian Lutz.
"The verdict reached this morning by the Honorable Judge Proskin should have no effect on the outcome of the administrative action taken by this department. The facts and circumstances of the administrative case have not changed. I am confident that the overwhelming amount and quality of evidence presented before the arbitrator will result in a decision that will affirm the faith that the public has in the Albany Police Department," said Chief Krokoff.
Lutz remains suspended with pay, as prescribed by law, pending a decision by the arbitrator.
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