MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – State troopers arrested a Coral Gables police officer on a drunken driving charge over the weekend, police confirmed to Local 10 News Wednesday morning.
State troopers arrested Esteban Soza, 36, of Coral Springs, Sunday.
According to an arrest report, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper and his training officer were exiting the Dolphin Expressway onto the Palmetto Expressway that evening when the trainee noticed a silver vehicle that had swerved to the left to change lanes, an arrest report states.
The report states troopers followed the vehicle, noticing that Soza was veering between lanes, eventually exiting onto Southwest 24th Street (Coral Way) and driving west. The troopers then performed a traffic stop.
The trooper said he noticed that Soza was “reaching over the right passenger seat with what appeared to be a container.”
As troopers approached the vehicle after pulling Soza over, they said he held his left hand out the window holding four cards, one of which was Soza’s license. The other three were credit or debit cards, the report states.
Soza “mumbled something” when troopers asked him why he gave them his credit cards, troopers said. They said he had slurred speech, red, glassy eyes and smelled of alcohol.
The report states that Soza failed a field sobriety test and refused to take a subsequent breathalyzer test.
Troopers took him to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.
“(The) Coral Gables Police Department was notified of the arrest of one of our (officers), Sunday, July 31, 2022,” Coral Gables police Sgt. Alejandro Escobar said in an email to Local 10 News. “The Officer has been placed on restrictive duty pending the determination of the court and our Internal Affairs Investigation. Due to the ongoing investigation, we will reserve comment on the issue.”
The FHP report does not mention Soza’s status as a law enforcement officer. Therefore, it’s not yet clear whether he was on-duty or driving a department-issued vehicle.