Victoria police officer will not be charged with DWI
An off-duty Victoria police officer who was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving this summer will not face criminal charges, Criminal District Attorney Stephen Tyler said Thursday.
Tyler said there was insufficient evidence to prosecute patrol officer Ryan Salles, 26, for driving while intoxicated.
A Cactus Canyon employee called officers about Salles during the early morning hours of June 3 because she thought she saw Salles stumbling in the parking lot, Tyler said.
Salles was then pulled over while in a Whataburger drive-thru lane. There is no dashboard camera video of Salles' driving, he refused a Breathalyzer test, and police could not obtain a warrant to draw his blood, Tyler said.
"The only evidence is that (testimony) of an employee," who could not say how much Salles was served while at Cactus Canyon, he said.
Cactus Canyon is inclined to warn authorities about suspected drunken drivers because it could be held liable if it is found the business over-served them, Tyler said.
"She (the employee) said he stumbled while he was walking, but I don't know if there was something on the ground," such as a rock, Tyler said. "It's not that anybody didn't collect evidence."
Going to trial with so little evidence would be a "hopeless exercise," he said.
When contacted by phone Thursday, Salles declined to comment.
Salles remains on administrative assignment, which means he has not yet returned to working in his patrol car, said Sgt. Eline Moya, a police spokeswoman.
In a few weeks, Internal Affairs will complete an administrative investigation to determine whether Salles violated any department policies. An example of a policy violation is displaying unbecoming conduct, she said.
Salles applied to be a patrol officer in April 2010 while still a student at the Victoria Police Academy.