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A Baton Rouge police officer is on court probation until early next year after pleading no contest to driving while intoxicated in a February 2020 crash that injured another driver.

Dave Davis Jr. was arrested on the DWI count and other charges after he allegedly ran a red light in his unmarked patrol car and crashed into another vehicle at the intersection of Airline Highway and Siegen Lane.

Davis, 31, of Ethel, was not on duty at the time of the nighttime accident.

In addition to the no contest plea to first-offense DWI, Davis recently pleaded guilty to running a red light and not wearing a seatbelt.

"He pled guilty and took responsibility for his actions," Davis' attorney, Margaret Lagattuta, said Monday.

As part of his one-year probation, state District Judge Beau Higginbotham said Davis must complete a driver improvement program, obtain a substance abuse evaluation and follow any recommended treatment, submit to random drug screens at his own expense, attend a MADD victim impact panel, remain alcohol- and drug-free, and remain arrest- and conviction-free.

The judge fined Davis $400 and ordered him to pay $260 in court costs as well as a $50 fee to the Office of Motor Vehicles, and perform 32 hours of court-approved community service work, half to be completed on litter detail.

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Higginbotham also said Davis must pay restitution to the victim through civil litigation.

A no contest plea carries the same weight as a guilty plea in criminal court but cannot be used against a person in a civil proceeding.

The judge is scheduled to review Davis' misdemeanor probation in mid-June.

State Police said Davis became combative with medical personnel after the Feb. 9, 2020, crash.

Troopers wrote in an arrest report that Davis appeared intoxicated when they arrived on scene. He started screaming at EMS workers and firefighters when they tried to help him out of his vehicle, then had to lean on them in order to walk to the ambulance, the report states.

"While in the back of the ambulance, he refused to sit down, saying his knee was hurting," troopers wrote. "Once he sat down, he punched the wall of the ambulance. … Mr. Davis was strapped to the bed in the ambulance and still managed to rise up and attempt to stand again."

Davis was transported to the hospital, where he was given a sedative "to calm him down so a CT scan of his injuries could be done," troopers said. "Mr. Davis' pupils were extremely dilated and he at times spoke incoherently or was non-responsive when asked a question, making it difficult to advise him of his rights."


Email Joe Gyan Jr. at jgyan@theadvocate.com.