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Arrested: sheriff's official found passed out in a stopped car in the middle of the freeway

Photo by Joseph Stevenson via Flickr Creative Commons

Sheriff’s civilian Director Natalie Salazar was found by authorities on Friday after several 911 calls to the California Highway Patrol reporting a motorist stopped in the middle of the freeway.

The 55-year-old top Los Angeles County sheriff’s official was found passed out in her county vehicle, reports the L.A. Times, with her head on the steering wheel, her engine in drive, her foot on the brake, stopped in a middle lane of the Foothill Freeway.

She was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, according to CHP Officer Ming Hsu, and tests showed a 0.20 blood alcohol level, twice the legal limit.

Salazar, the head of the sheriff’s Community/Law enforcement Partnership Program, posted $15,000 bail less than four hours after her arrest, according to jail records.

The official was convicted of driving under the influence in 2009 and put on probation, according to CHP.

Salazar has been placed on leave, said Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore.