St. Petersburg Police officer charged with DUI, taken off patrol

Sgt. Lesandro Santiago was swerving while driving his personal car about 3 a.m. Saturday, police said.
Sgt. Lesandro Santiago was charged with driving under the influence Saturday. [Courtesy Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
Sgt. Lesandro Santiago was charged with driving under the influence Saturday. [Courtesy Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
Published December 22 2018
Updated December 22 2018

ST. PETERSBURG — A St. Petersburg Police sergeant faces a DUI charge and was taken off his patrol duties Saturday, according to the agency.

Sgt. Lesandro Edwin Santiago, 44, was driving his personal car about 3 a.m. Saturday, when he was stopped by a Pinellas County Sheriff's deputy, police said in a news release. Santiago was swerving between lanes, according to the release.

His eyes were glassy and bloodshot, and a deputy smelled alcohol, according to the Sheriff's Office. The driver took a field sobriety test, but "performed poorly," the agency reported.

The driver then refused a breath sample and admitted to drinking alcohol, deputies said.

Jail records show the sergeant was booked into the Pinellas County Jail at 5:19 a.m. and released on his own recognizance. Santiago was charged with one count of driving under the influence.

According to the Police Department, he is on administrative duty until his criminal charge is investigated. The agency then will conduct an internal investigation.

Santiago has been a sworn officer since March 2003.

Deputies arrested the sergeant during a "DUI Wolf Pack" crackdown on drunk driving. The Sheriff's Office worked with the St. Petersburg police and other local agencies on the operation. As a result, 22 people on Saturday night were charged with driving under the influence.

Contact Langston Taylor at [email protected]pabay.com or 727-893-8659. Follow @langstonitaylor.

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