A San Diego police detective avoided a jail sentence for a crash in which he admitted he had been driving recklessly and under the influence.
Det. Jeffrey Blackford, pleaded guilty earlier this month to DUI and reckless driving in connection with a Dec. 7 crash in Allied Gardens.
Blackford, 34, crashed into a utility box on Princess View Drive near Mission Gorge Road about 1 a.m.
He was off-duty at the time of the crash but he was driving a department-issued undercover vehicle.
Blackford was facing 60 days in custody but received 5 years on probation and 25 days of community service.
He did not appear in court Monday for the sentencing. Judge Frederick Maguire denied television cameras access to the hearing.
In his ruling, Judge Maguire said he didn’t order the defendant to serve time in jail because that would result in his termination from the San Diego Police Department. The crime did not warrant the detective losing his job the judge told the court.
A preliminary breathalyzer test showed the detective's blood-alcohol level as high as .15 percent, prosecutors told the court. A test taken three hours later registered .09 percent.
Judge Maguire said the ongoing internal procedural review on why it took so long to take the detective’s BAC test on the morning of the crash had no bearing on Blackford’s sentencing.
Blackford was initially accused of driving at speeds as high as 91 mph in a 45-mph zone according to prosecutors. His defense attorney said accident-reconstruction experts placed the defendant's speed that night as closer to 74 mph.
The 11-year veteran of the SDPD was ordered to five years probation including DUI classes and 25 days of public work service.