Police officers are here to serve and protect, but they aren't and shouldn't ever be above the law. In fact with their position in our East Texas communities they should be held to a higher standard and a vast majority maintain that.

Unfortunately that's not always the case though. As reported by CBS 19, on Sunday (Dec. 5) morning an off-duty Nacogdoches police officer was arrested with Blood Alcohol Contents (BACs) of .138 and .144, nearly double the legal limit. The officer has since been suspended by the NPD.

"Aburto had glassy bloodshot eyes and the odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from his person," the affidavit states.

According to the NPD, they received a call to check on a person "who was asleep behind the wheel of a running in pickup blocking the intersection of County Road 780 and State Highway 21 in Douglass." The driver was identified as Daniel Aburto, an off-duty Nacogdcoches Police Department officer.

"A search of [the vehicle] revealed there to be a cold, open, Michelob Ultra beer that was still mostly full in a hard koozie that was in the front center console cup holder," the affidavit states.[/pullquotes]

NHTSA reports that "every day, about 28 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes — that's one person every 52 minutes." While we're glad that no one was hurt Sunday morning by Aburto's selfishness and irresponsibility, hopefully he will and perhaps even someone else can learn from his lapse in judgement.

As we lead up to Christmas and New Year's drunk driving increases. According to NHTSA, "during the New Year's and Christmas periods in 2018, there were 285 drunk-driving-related fatalities. These deaths were 100% preventable."

Police officer or not, drunk drivers need to be removed from our roads. Don't drink and drive on our East Texas roads.

RANKED: America's Top 12 Best-Looking State Trooper Cruisers

Did you know that there is a brotherhood of state troopers called the American Association of State Troopers (AAST)? Their goal: PROTECT. PROVIDE. CONNECTAccording to their website the AAST was formed in 1989 when a "small group of Florida state troopers had the vision to create an association that would unite state troopers across the country and assist them by providing valuable benefits and services."

Each year the AAST releases a calendar of the best looking state trooper cruisers. Ranking is determined by their Facebook followers. It's all for a great cause too. Proceeds benefit the AAST Foundation, which provides higher education scholarships for AAST troopers' children dependents. A noble cause by any measure. 

Photo Highlights from the Tyler Police Department's Lip Sync Challenge!

Dear Tyler Police Department--thank you for doing this. And watching it again is just as delightful as it was before. Please do more!