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Police: Beverly Hills Police officer Cited for Drunk Driving after vehicle slams into Simi Valley home

by Mark J. Bigger on March 12, 2013

Emergency personnel work on scene of a single vehicle accident on Royal Avenue on Tuesday night. Off-duty Beverly Hills police officer, Jeffrey Sweet, 42, was arrested Tuesday night after crashing into a Simi Valley home while allegedly driving under the influence, officials said. Sweet was arrested and booked in jail on suspicion of DUI, police said.

Beverly Hills, LA, California – An off-duty Beverly Hills police officer, Jeffrey Sweet, was taken to jail after being caught driving under the influence of alcohol last week after crashing his car into a home located in Simi Valley, according to the officials. Sweet, a Simi Valley resident, was driving a personal vehicle about 10:20 p.m. East on Royal Avenue when he lost control and failed to negotiate a curve at the Blackstock Avenue, the police reported.

“Sweet’s blood-alcohol level during the crash will be determined by lab tests,” said Sgt. Craig Dungan in a statement, who is a spokesman for Simi Valley police.

According to reports, the vehicle collapsed on to a house, knocked down a utility pole and came to a halt on its roof on the retaining wall of a second home, police said.

Two homes were evacuated because the vehicle severed a natural gas line, police said. Ventura County Fire Department crews closed the gas line, preventing a possible fire, police said.

Royal Avenue between Sequoia and Blackstock avenues was closed through Wednesday morning as Southern California Edison repaired the damaged utility pole.

Fortunately no one was injured, the police reported.

The bystanders in the vicinity helped Sweet get out of the vehicle, police said. He did not appear to be injured but was taken to Simi Valley Hospital after complaining of pain, police said.

The forty two year old was imprisoned and booked into jail on suspicion of drunk driving, the Simi Valley police said. He was booked into Ventura County jail and later released.

Sweet is an 18-year veteran of the Beverly Hills force, said Lt. Lincoln Hoshino, a spokesman for the agency. The officer will not be put on leave, pending a DUI investigation and subsequent administrative inquiry, Hoshino said.

Jean Donato, 64, was in her bedroom with her sister and dog when the vehicle crashed into her home.

“I was laying there watching TV and I heard the bang,” Donato said. “I started to get up, and my bed moved and the dog went flying. I couldn’t see anything. It was all dust.” According to reports, Donato’s side lawn was full of debris Wednesday morning.

She said Simi Valley building and safety officials were assessing the damage to her home to determine whether it was livable. She said she is grateful that she and the driver survived.

“He wasn’t killed, thank God,” Donato said.

The Beverly Hills Police Department Professional Standards Unit responded to the scene with the collaboration of the Simi Valley police. They will also jointly collaborate and to investigate the case further and assess the damages.

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