Austin firefighter suspended, accused of driving while intoxicated in San Antonio


AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin Fire Department firefighter was suspended for 16 days after being arrested in San Antonio for allegedly driving while intoxicated.

A Dec. 7 memo from Fire Chief Joel Baker states firefighter Christopher Cortez’s suspension already started earlier this month and will end on Christmas Eve.

According to the memo, Cortez’s arrest happened on Aug. 31. Lab tests showed his blood alcohol level was 0.167—which would classify it as a class A misdemeanor.

AFD obtained body cam footage of the arrest, which showed even though Cortez appeared to be intoxicated, he was still respectful to police, the memo said.

Cortez admitted his actions were wrong and that he made a bad decision.

“I am deeply concerned that FF Cortez used poor judgement and placed himself and others in serious danger by driving severely intoxicated,” Baker said in the memo.

He stated a more serious punishment would’ve been given if Cortez wasn’t respectful to San Antonio officers, the memo said.

In addition to the suspension, Baker ordered Cortez to be screened by a professional to determine if he has a problem with alcohol. If a recovery program is recommended, Cortez must also complete it.

He will also be placed on probation for one year and undergo random alcohol testing, according to the memo.

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