Austin Police officer fired after test showed he came to work intoxicated

Officer Michael Cuellar was fired from the Austin Police Department for showing up at work intoxicated, according to an APD memo. (File photo: CBS Austin)

An Austin Police officer who was responsible for administering breathalyzer tests at the Travis County Jail has been fired after he came to work intoxicated, according to a memo signed by Chief Brian Manley.

On the morning of October 25, 2016, Officer Michael Cuellar performed a practice breath test on himself, which is a requirement for maintaining his certification.

The memo from APD states that Cuellar's blood alcohol concentration was 0.064/0.065. Cuellar then drove to the substation to report the results to his supervisor, who ordered Cuellar to remain out of service until he was no longer under the influence.

During an internal investigation by APD, Cuellar told investigators he had "about three glasses" of 80-proof vodka on the evening before the test, and that he regularly consumed a similar quantity of alcoholic beverages four nights a week.

According to the memo, Internal Affairs spoke with a Scientific Director with the Texas Department of Public Safety, who determined that Cuellar's BAC would have been higher than 0.08 as he left his home before taking the test, therefore above the legal level of intoxication.

The memo states that APD's zero tolerance policy for driving while intoxicated, along with Cuellar reporting to work above the legal limit, were cause for his firing.