Cop Was “Too Wasted” to Accept Award for DUI Arrests by Mothers Against Drunk Driving

If there ever were an incident that describes the word ironic, it is what happened in July at a Mothers Against Drunk Driving conference (MADD) in Fort Lauderdale.

Officer Michael Szeliga of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department was at an all expense paid two-day DUI law enforcement training.

He was also meant to be honored at the event with an award for making 100 DUI arrests.

However, he showed up so drunk that he could hardly walk.

Despite this, Szeliga says he did not have more than two drinks before the conference – it may well be that he is not to blame, experts agree that it is not uncommon for people under the influence of alcohol do tend to lose count of the number of pints consumed.

The Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said it was one of the most absurd things he had come across.

“When I first heard about it, that was (what) my reaction was. ‘Come on, you’ve got to be kidding me’.”

Gulfport Police Chief Robert Vincent says he met Szeliga just before the banquet.

Seeing the state that the cop was in, he suggested that it was best for him to remain unnoticed.

According to Vincent, he was stumbling and smelled of alcohol.

Szeliga had turned up at the MADD conference weekend in the mood to party.

He had packed a bottle of Irish whiskey in his patrol car when he arrived at the symposium.

On Friday, he signed in for a DUI training, but left along with two other cops immediately after the first break.

The trio then poured themselves some scotch before playing corn hole in the courtyard.

Later in the day, when a fire alarm went off, another DUI supervisor says he saw Szeliga drunk and wearing only his boxer shorts in the hotel hallway.

When Chief Vincent alerted the intoxicated cop’s supervisor to his drunken state, he was ordered back to his room.

Needless to say, he missed out on receiving the coveted award.

His punishment is perhaps more ironic than the incident itself -he was suspended for 24 hours with pay.

In addition to this, he also had to write a letter of apology to his supervisors.

Even more paradoxical is the fact that his upcoming promotion remained unaffected by the incident.

He currently works as a detective in the crimes against children unit.