Former cop and current state investigator Joe Sandoval is still a candidate for city council in Commerce City, according to the city clerk's office. But if he stays in the race, he'll have some uncomfortable questions to answer about being busted for driving under the influence -- and the way a police report says he tried to big-time his way out of a citation.
According to the candidate information sheet for the forty-year-old Sandoval, he grew up in Commerce City and graduated from Adams City High School in 1989. He achieved his goal of becoming a Commerce City police officer in 1993, and he touts his involvement in the community as, among other things, a school-resource officer, a citizens' police academy coordinator and a public-information officer.
His current gig? He's a criminal investigator with Colorado's Department of Revenue in the Division of Gaming. As a bonus, he fulfills the same duties while assisting the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division.
Not mentioned: Sandoval reportedly was accused of driving under the influence in relation to a rollover crash in December 2008. He subsequently pleaded guilty to driving while ability impaired, a lesser charge.
Cut to this past Saturday night, when an Adams County deputy pulled Sandoval over on suspicion of DUI. According to an incident report obtained by 7News, he responded to a request for his license by flashing his Department of Revenue badge, emblazoned with the word "police," then asking, "Will this work?"
Apparently not. The deputy insisted that Sandoval perform a roadside sobriety test, in part because he smelled alcohol on his breath -- and Sandoval allegedly admitted to downing some brewskis. "Are you really going to do this to me?" Sandoval wondered. "Don't you know who I am?"
Moments later, Sandoval failed said sobriety test -- and after he agreed to blow through a Breathalyzer, he registered a blood-alcohol content of .093, over the legal intoxication limit of .08.
That led to Sandoval being fitted with a pair of handcuffs -- but even then, he didn't stop searching for a way to skate out of trouble. The report says he requested to speak in private with a sergeant at the scene, then asked on numerous occasions if officers could simply take him home and skip the rest of the irritating paperwork. He added that he was running for city council in Commerce City "and did not need this."
That's one way of putting it.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Cynthia Sammon busted for DUI after she can't figure out how to open her car doors."
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.