Police: Miami-Dade commissioner cited elected position after being pulled over for DUI

Jose Diaz spent the night in jail.
Jose Diaz spent the night in jail.

Miami-Dade Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz cited his position during a Key West traffic stop in which police said he smelled of alcohol and saw his Harley Davidson topple because he forgot to deploy the kickstand.

Police cuffed him after saying he failed sobriety tests, but Diaz declined to have his breath analyzed for alcohol content.

After being pulled over Saturday night, Diaz identified himself as a Miami-Dade commissioner and asked the officer to request a sergeant to respond given his elected position, Officer Alexander Rodriguez wrote in his report. A sergeant did arrive, and Diaz was ultimately charged with driving under the influence and spent the night in jail.

Key West police on Monday released the incident reports from Diaz’s Saturday arrest, and they describe the four-term commissioner as slurring his speech and having red, glassy eyes. Police also said recently deployed body cameras recorded the traffic stop. The reports say that after they pulled over Diaz for going 74 mph in a 35 mph zone on South Roosevelt Boulevard, he allowed his motorcycle to fall.

“As I pulled behind Diaz, I saw the motorcycle fall over onto its left side, noting that Diaz never put his foot down on the ground or attempt to kick out the kick stand,” Officer Gary Celcer wrote in the report.

Another officer wrote: “The driver was helped off the motorcycle and onto the sidewalk where Officer Celcer asked for his license. He informed Officer Celcer that he was Commissioner Diaz and he did not have his license with him.”

The report describes Diaz failing the dexterity tests officers give to determine intoxication, including swaying during an eye test and losing his balance while trying to walk a straight line. When asked to stand with his feet together, Diaz, a former Marine, instead stood at attention with his feet apart, according to a report by Officer Alexander Rodriguez Jr.

“I told Diaz that I knew of his military background and to try and do his best and get his feet all the way together,” Rodriguez wrote. “Diaz asked me how I knew of his military background and I told him he had previously told me about it.”

Diaz’s laywer, Richard Wunsch, was not available for comment Monday morning.

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