A Durham police officer was placed on administrative leave today after crashing his assigned patrol car on Fayetteville Street around 9 a.m. today, according to a news release from the Durham Police Department.
The officer, Kevin A. Stewart, was charged with driving while impaired after his car rear-ended another car that had slowed down for a traffic signal near Timothy Street, the release said. Stewart received minor injuries, and the driver of the other car wasn't injured. Each car sustained about $2,500 in damages, the statement said.
Any driver of a city vehicle is required to be tested for drugs and alcohol within two hours of being involved in an accident, the release said. The statement didn't indicate whether Stewart was suspected of drug or alcohol consumption, or at what level.
Stewart had just joined the police force in January 2009 and graduated from the police academy in July 2009, according to a city press release.
“Violations such as this will not be tolerated in our department,” Durham Police Chief Jose L. Lopez Sr. said in the statement. “As law enforcement officers we are held to a higher standard and I want the community to know that immediate and proper action is being taken.”