Lawrence officer suspended after .02 BAC while on job

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A man arrested by Lawrence police is accusing an officer of drinking on the job.

Sources tell Eyewitness News the suspect was being transported by Officer Gustavo Canas when he noticed the officer was impaired. He brought the impairment to the attention of other officers, who contacted their supervisors.

Canas started his shift at 5:30 a.m. Thursday and went to roll call at 6 a.m. Just before 9 a.m., the suspect reportedly started complaining the officer was tipsy. His supervisors gave Canas a portable breath test, which registered .04 percent blood-alcohol content. A second blood-alcohol content test measured .02.

"We sent the officer home for the day and then come to find out it was residual alcohol, so it wasn't like the officer was impaired or drunk. It was, I believe, .02 which is well below the legal limit," said Lawrence Police Deputy Chief Curtis Bigsbee.

Although Canas' blood-alcohol level registered under the state's legal limit, the officer is in trouble.

"We do have a zero tolerance policy of any type of residual alcohol in an officer's system and that is why we went ahead and took the appropriate action and disciplined the officer at that time," said Bigsbee.

Lawrence Police took away Canas' keys to his patrol car and other department-issued items, like his badge and service weapon.

Canas is suspended without pay, but will unlikely face termination. Bigsbee says other officers and supervisors followed department protocol by bringing the incident to the attention of the rank and file at Lawrence Police.

The incident could not come at a worse time for Lawrence Police, who were part of the multi-district DUI task force that responded to the fatal crash involving IMPD Officer David Bisard three years ago. A jury found Bisard guilty this week on nine charges related to his drinking and driving in the crash that killed a motorcyclist and injured two others.