Police sergeant in alleged DUI crash refused BAC test before speaking with attorney, reports say

Crime Watch

Jeff Saso

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A Bakersfield police sergeant charged with DUI causing bodily injury refused a blood-alcohol test until speaking with his attorney, delaying the testing, according to court documents.

Blood wasn’t drawn from Jeff Saso until 2 hours and 40 minutes after the Oct. 5 crash that injured him and a passenger on his motorcycle, the documents say.

His blood-alcohol content was measured at 0.119 percent, the documents say, above the state legal limit of 0.08 percent.

Saso, 50, crashed his motorcycle into a center median on Rosedale Highway near Costco around 1 p.m., police said. There were multiple witnesses.

One witness told investigators he was stopped at a red light on Rosedale just south of where the crash occurred. He said he heard tires screeching and saw a blue motorcycle “traveling way too fast” off the Highway 99 off-ramp onto Rosedale, according to the documents.

The witness said the rider locked his tires and tried to turn but lost control and dropped the bike. It slid and hit the center median, throwing both the rider and his passenger, the witness told police.

Both of the bike’s occupants lost consciousness as bystanders attempted to help them, the witness told investigators.

An EMT dispatched to the scene said Saso admitted to drinking a couple beers earlier in the day, the court filings say. He said the sergeant appeared to be under the influence and had difficulty answering simple questions.

For example, Saso was unable to name the president of the United States, the EMT told police.

Paramedics took Saso to a hospital to be treated for his injuries; his passenger suffered minor injuries.

An officer who later questioned Saso said in the reports the sergeant told him he didn’t remember the crash or where he was coming from when it occurred. The officer noticed Saso emitted a strong odor of alcohol and had red, watery eyes.

Charged on Dec. 12, Saso’s first court hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

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