Off-duty Oak Creek officer charged with fleeing police while drunk

Feb. 19, 2014

An Oak Creek police officer is on paid administrative leave as he faces criminal charges of driving drunk and leading Elm Grove police on a high-speed chase.

Christopher Luzinski, 37, of Franklin has been an officer with the Oak Creek Police Department for about three years and was placed on leave as a result of his arrest early Saturday, Oak Creek Chief John Edwards said.

An internal investigation has been opened and will parallel the criminal investigation, Edwards said.

Luzinski faces a felony charge of fleeing police, and if convicted, he faces a potential maximum sentence of 31/2 years in prison. If convicted of a felony, Luzinski could not serve as a police officer, as federal law prohibits felons from possessing firearms.

An Elm Grove police officer first noticed Luzinski's vehicle about 3 a.m. Saturday at the intersection of Elm Grove Road and Watertown Plank Road, where Luzinski slowed but did not stop at the intersection, according to a criminal complaint.

Luzinski, who was off-duty, then made several turns on different roads before finally turning onto Watertown Plank Road, where he accelerated to speeds between 75 and 85 mph, records show.

The Elm Grove officer activated his emergency lights and sirens to try to stop the vehicle, which fled. Luzinski slowed to turn westbound onto Blue Mound Road but then accelerated again reaching a speed of 101 mph, police said. Luzinski lost control on Blue Mound Road at Terrace Drive and finally came to a complete stop at a red traffic signal, having led police on a 1.7 mile-pursuit, according to documents.

Officers gave the Luzinski a field sobriety test after noticing his bloodshot eyes and slurred speech, and then gave him a breath test that showed his blood-alcohol level was 0.19, the criminal complaint states. That is more than twice the level of 0.08 considered proof of intoxication in Wisconsin.

Officers noted that Luzinski admitted to being an Oak Creek police officer, did not remember leaving the bar and was apologetic throughout the traffic stop.

Luzinski was charged Monday and posted his $1,500 bail later that day. He is due back in court March 12.

Twitter: twitter.com/aluthern

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