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Former Anaheim cop gets 10 months in jail for DUIs

April 28, 2010 |  3:05 pm

A former Anaheim police officer was sentenced Wednesday to 10 months in jail for driving under the influence of prescription drugs three times within a year.

Prosecutors said Kevin Noel Schlueter, 37, of Costa Mesa was off duty when the incidents occurred.

The first occurred in March 2009 when he was spotted driving erratically and weaving through lanes on the  405 Freeway near Westminster Boulevard. He nearly crashed into other cars, including a marked California Highway Patrol vehicle sent to pull him over, the Orange County district attorney’s office said in a statement.

He also crashed his car through the backyard fence of a Huntington Beach home in January, and in March crashed into three parked cars in Costa Mesa before reversing and hitting a fourth, the statement said.

In each case, Schlueter displayed signs of being under the influence of drugs, including having red, watery eyes, shaking hands, slurred speech and lethargic behavior, responding officers said.

Prosecutors said he tested positive for a number of prescription pain and anti-anxiety medications. He pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence of drugs.

In addition to the jail time, which will include six months in a residential drug treatment center, he was sentenced to five years of informal probation and an alcohol education program, prosecutors said.

Schlueter’s attorney, Joseph P. Smith, said his client “acknowledged his responsibility and accepted the consequences.”

“I have every expectation that when my client is finished with whatever he has to do, he will be one of the ones who never re-offend," Smith said. "He is a 13-year veteran of the Anaheim Police Department with an excellent service record.”

Sgt. Rick Martinez, department spokesman, said Schlueter had resigned in the midst of an internal investigation. “This whole situation was just very unfortunate,” Martinez said.

-- Alexandra Zavis