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Thursday, April 24, 2014 | Last updated: 11:00pm

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UAPD officer gets super extreme DUI



A University of Arizona Police Department sergeant was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence Saturday night following an accident involving a marked UAPD vehicle.

Sgt. John McGrath, a UAPD officer, was on duty driving in a marked UAPD Chevrolet Tahoe when he crashed his vehicle on a frontage road near Interstate 10 at Speedway Boulevard, according to Sgt. Pete Dugan, a Tucson Police Department spokesman.

TPD officers responded to the call at 9:38 p.m. of a single motor accident on the frontage road.

Officers confirmed the account of the accident and found no injuries at the scene. The vehicle hit a road sign before colliding with a cement wall, causing damage to the vehicle.

The cost of the damage is not yet known, said Sgt. Filbert Barrera, a UAPD spokesman.

TPD officers made contact with the driver of the Tahoe and found the officer to be in uniform and were able to identify him, Dugan said.

While officers were investigating the accident, they noticed signs that McGrath was impaired and began a DUI investigation, Dugan said. They found his blood alcohol content to be above 0.20, which is classified as a super extreme DUI.

McGrath was charged with a super extreme DUI as well as three other DUI charges. The vehicle was impounded by TPD, where it will remain for 30 days, according to Dugan.

Dugan said that by this point, McGrath has been given a court date.

UAPD has placed McGrath on investigative suspension, Barrera said.

“As the city of Tucson has completed and forwarded their report for prosecution, then we will more than likely start an administrative investigation,” Barrera said.

Until the administrative investigation has concluded, McGrath will not work.

McGrath is a UA graduate and has been an officer in UAPD since 2009, according to Barrera.

McGrath has been a sergeant for a little over a year. He is also a member of the Arizona National Guard and recently returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan, Barrera said.

Barrera said the location of the vehicle at the time of the accident was not unusual. UAPD patrols
Prince Farms daily, near where the accident occurred.

“We have different locations that are owned by the university and the [Arizona] Board of Regents that we patrol,” Barrera said. “So, if you were to ask me, ‘Would it be surprising that he was there at that time?’ I would say, ‘No.’”

_— Stephanie Casanova contributed
reporting to this article_


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