AUSTIN -- The debate is on. Should an Austin police officer have been fired for DWI before having his day in court?
"He needs to keep his job. He deserves to keep his job," said a radio disc jockey with KLBJ.
Bastrop County Sheriff's Office deputies stopped Officer Ricardo Zapata along FM 812 and Mesa Drive. Investigators say he slurred his speech and smelled of alcohol, and his blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.
"We've heard so much about second chances with our district attorney, and now it just seems completely opposite what the philosophy was from our leaders," said Wayne Vincent, president of the Austin Police Association.
Mother's Against Drunk Driving released the following staement to KVUE:
"Drunk driving affects everyone -- celebrities, officials and every citizen alike -- that's why it is so important that we continue to educate the public about making smart and safe choices. No one is immune, and that's why it is so important to plan ahead for a safe way home if your plans include alcohol."
Austin police chief Art Acevedo said Zapata's actions shed a bad light on the department.
Zapata is allowed to appeal his termination.