An off-duty Lompoc police officer was arrested Friday morning on suspicion of driving under the influence after a witness saw the officer's vehicle collide with a tree.
Deputies determined there was probable cause to arrest Garcia for DUI, according to Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover, but charges have not yet been filed by the District Attorney's Office.
Sheriff’s deputies responded to the incident around 1:15 a.m. Friday in the 100 block of West Oak Avenue in Lompoc at the request of the Lompoc Police Department, Hoover said.
"A Lompoc police officer was observing traffic when he witnessed a vehicle collide into a tree in the median of North H Street and then watched as the vehicle kept driving northbound," she said.
He pulled the vehicle over a few blocks away in the 100 block of West Oak Avenue, and identified the driver as a fellow Lompoc police officer, David Garcia, and determined he may be under the influence of alcohol.
The responding officer requested the assistance of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department to conduct a DUI investigation, who determined there was probable cause for DUI.
Garcia was arrested and then later cited and released to his wife’s care, Hoover said, and he was not booked into jail.
Lompoc Police Chief Larry Ralston had no comment about the incident or whether Garcia was still working for the department, but did confirm to Noozhawk that Garcia worked in the patrol division and had worked with the department for 13 years prior to the incident.
He said an internal investigation will be launched.