Anaheim police officer Kevin Noel Schlueter was charged today with driving under the influence of drugs after crashing into four parked cars. It's the 37-year-old Costa Mesa resident's third DUI, and not to be confused with the DUI charge brought against Orange County sheriff's deputy Mark Wayne Hewlett, who is accused of being drunk, losing control of his car and crashing into a planter in the front yard of Orange County Supervisor Bill Campbell's Villa Park home.
Both cops were driving their own cars, not police cruisers.
In the first DUI case against Schlueter, he is accused of driving erratically and weaving through lanes on the 405 freeway near Westminster Boulevard while under the influence of drugs at about 9:30 p.m. on March 18, 2009. A witness called 9-1-1, and Schlueter nearly crashed into other cars on the road, including a California Highway Patrol vehicle that responded to the call.
Schlueter showed signs of drug intoxication once he was pulled over, including shaking hands, red and watery eyes, slurred speech, and lethargic appearance, according to the CHP report. He was allegedly under the influence of the prescription drugs hydrocodone, hydromorphone, phenmetrazine, phendimetrazine and carisoprodol.
The Orange County District Attorney's Office (OCDA) charged Schlueter on Sept. 1, 2009, with one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of drugs.
At about 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 21, 2010, Schlueter is accused of driving on Oakridge Lane in Huntington Beach while impaired and under the influence of drugs. His car crashed through the back yard fence of a residence, and when officers arrived, he was still sitting in the driver's seat with the engine running.
Again, cops say he showed signs of drug intoxication, including slurred speech, a lack of coordination, and a lack of balance. He was allegedly under the influence of hydrocodone, hydromorphone, meprobamate and carisoprodol.
The OCDA on Friday charged Schlueter with one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of drugs in the second case.
Finally, Schlueter was driving on Cabrillo Street in Costa Mesa at about 1:40 p.m. on March 2 when his car crashed into three parked cars. He is accused of then reversing his vehicle--and crashing into a fourth parked car.
This happened outside an ambulance company, and a witness at the company put Schlueter in the back of an ambulance until Costa Mesa police officers arrived at the scene.
Cops say he had red and watery eyes and was incoherent and lethargic. He is accused of being under the influence of phentermine, carisoprodol and oxycodone.
Sounds like a certain Orange County police agency better check its drug evidence locker.
Schlueter was charged today with one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of drugs. He could get up to two years and six months in jail if he is convicted of all three offenses, according to the OCDA.
He is scheduled to appear Friday at West Justice Center in Westminster for a pre-trial hearing for the 2009 case and arraignment for the two 2010 cases.
Hewlett, 30, of Orange, is charged with one misdemeanor count each of driving under the influence of alcohol, driving with a blood alcohol level over .08 percent, and possession of a controlled substance without a prescription.
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He could get a year in jail if convicted. He is scheduled to be arraigned April 29 in Santa Ana.
Hewlett is accused of having consumed several alcoholic beverages at a friend's house before driving home in the early morning hours of Dec. 13, 2009. At about 1:45 a.m., his car went up over the curb and across the grass in front of Campbell's home.
A teen-ager driving by contacted his father, who called 9-1-1. When police arrived, Hewlett had a strong odor of alcohol, watery eyes and a lack of balance, according to the OCDA, which added he had a blood alcohol level of .13 percent at approximately 3:30 a.m.--an hour and 45 minutes after the crash.
Hewlett also had Xanax on him, but no prescription for the anti-depressant, claim prosecutors.