Off-duty NYPD lieutenant arrested for alleged drunk driving

An off-duty NYPD lieutenant was arrested for drunk driving for a second time after he crashed into a parked car in Brooklyn over the weekend.

Lt. Donald Stewart, 43, a 22-year veteran of the force, was taken into custody at the 81st precinct Saturday at around 4:53 a.m. and charged with driving while impaired by alcohol, according to police.

He has been suspended without pay.

Officials declined to say where the crash happened, but the NYPD’s 81st precinct covers Stuyvesant Heights and parts of Crown Heights.

Stewart, a retired gunnery sergeant in the US Marine Corps Reserves, was previously arrested in 2014 after an investigation concluded he drove while “under the influence of an intoxicant” when he crashed into another parked car in Brooklyn.

According to police records, the first incident occurred on April 18, 2014, and Stewart was stopped by fellow officer James Nielson in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.

Lt. Donald Stewart.
Lt. Donald Stewart is a 22-year veteran of the force.

The police probe found that Stewart refused to take a breathalyzer test and “consumed an intoxicant to the extent that said officer was unfit for duty.”

Nielson testified that he didn’t think the then-sergeant was legally drunk.

He did, however, admit that he had a tough time deciding if Stewart was actually sober or not, but maintained that he did not show favoritism to his fellow officer.

“If he wasn’t a cop, I would have said that he was not above the legal limit,” Nielson told prosecutors, according to court papers.

Lt. Donald Stewart.
Stewart was a gunnery sergeant in the US Marine Corps Reserves.

Stewart was ultimately acquitted of the 2014 DWI charge but was convicted of a traffic violation for leaving the scene of an incident.

Following the 2014 incident, Stewart was suspended for 64 days and put on probation for a year.

By 2018, Stewart rose in the ranks and currently serves as the 100th precinct’s special operations lieutenant. Records show his salary was $212,000 last year.

A representative of Stewart could not be immediately reached for comment.