Officer Lynsey Coutts, a 4-year veteran of the Tucson Police Department, was arrested as a result of an on-duty driving under the influence (DUI) investigation that was initiated on the morning of May 22.
According to police spokeswoman Maria Hawke, since March 2012 Coutts had been subject to a contract, known as Conditions of Continued Employment, to address concerns about her use of alcohol. One of the conditions imposed in the agreement prohibits the presence of alcohol in her system during a scheduled work shift.
She was scheduled to begin work at 9 a.m. on May 22. However, she spoke on the phone with a supervisor at approximately 9:20 a.m., advising that she was driving fast on Interstate 10 near Avra Valley Road and was in fear of colliding with other vehicles on the roadway. The supervisor successfully convinced her to exit the freeway and stop.
She did so, pulling off at the Avra Valley exit. Police personnel from Operations Division West immediately responded to the Avra Valley exit of Interstate 10. Upon arrival, they located Coutts in the driver’s seat of a vehicle. They also noted that Coutts was exhibiting signs and symptoms of possible alcohol intoxication.
Officers from the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) were requested and responded to the location as well. The DPS personnel conducted a DUI investigation, ultimately placing Coutts under arrest for various charges associated with Driving Under the Influence.
At the conclusion of the DPS investigation, the Tucson Police Department personnel conducted an administrative Preliminary Breath Test (PBT), determining that Ms. Coutts had a Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.235.
The PBT was administered under the provisions of the Conditions of Continued Employment agreement that was effective as of March.
Additionally, the agreement specified that the penalty for violating any of the conditions of the agreement is discharge from employment with the City of Tucson. Coutts was served with a Notice of Intent to Terminate on the Tuesday afternoon. The Civil Service Hearing relating to her termination is scheduled for May 29.