Arrested journalist blasts department's top DUI cop

Officer Kasi Beutel

SANTA BARBARA – Santa Barbara police Chief Cam Sanchez is on the offensive, rebutting a June 22 investigative report published in The Santa Barbara News-Press calling into question the nature of DUI enforcement in the city.

Just after midnight on Jan. 1, DUI enforcement specialist Kasi Beutel arrested a local man for driving under the influence after he blew a .09 blood-alcohol level on a field sobriety test. The district attorney subsequently filed a DUI case based upon the report of Officer Beutel, often heralded by the department as having a record of more than 300 DUI arrests during her six-year career.

Peter Lance

What police and district attorney officials didn’t anticipate was that the arrestee in this case, Peter Lance, 63, is a well-regarded investigative journalist with five Emmys and numerous published books focusing on government malfeasance and corruption to his credit.

Turning his attention to the officer who arrested him and the department that employs her, Lance wrote a series of articles accusing Beutel of forging the signatures of arrestees in waiving blood tests and filing a fraudulent bankruptcy claim.

On June 22, Lance published the first of five reports describing “the reigning queen of an elite group of cops who specialize in arresting drunken drivers.”

His first installment goes on to report that Officer Beutel — who arrested him just after midnight on New Year’s day — is responsible for “more than half the felony and misdemeanor DUI collars of the entire Santa Barbara Police Department with a record three times that of her closest uniformed colleague.”

Lance’s first installment quickly drew the ire of Beutel’s fellow officers, and without refuting any of Lance’s points, blitzed the local media with a lengthy diatribe that included every element of the events leading to Lance’s DUI bust.

“Police Chief Cam Sanchez and the entire Santa Barbara Police Department support Officer Kasi Beutel,” said police spokesman Lt. Paul McCaffrey. “To publish an attack story against a police officer, written by the man she arrested … is simply unprofessional.”

For his part, Lance alleges in his initial journalistic installment that Officer Beutel placed him in handcuffs and threatened to take him to jail after he “politely inquired if there might be a quota, that being a holiday night.” Lance also claims that Beutel blocked the exit port of the breathalyzer while administering his blood-alcohol test .

These were but two of the allegations drawing heat from Chief Sanchez and others in the department who support Beutel’s professionalism, and just the tip of the iceberg in Lance’s reportage of his arresting officer’s career statistics and the many awards she has garnered over the past few years.

The News-Press article goes into specific detail of Beutel’s employment history and performance claims, with many “revelations” reported by Lance that include  “a nationally ranked handwriting expert … [swearing] under penalty of perjury that the signatures of arrestees who purportedly waived blood tests witnessed by Officer Beutel were forged” as well as “evidence that … Kasi Beutel committed fraud in a 2000 Chapter 7 bankruptcy.”

McCaffrey, in reacting to the News-Press report, was terse:  “Chief Cam Sanchez denounces this one-sided article and the decision to publish it as seriously flawed and unprofessional.”

These were but two of the allegations drawing heat from Chief Sanchez and others in the department who support Beutel’s professionalism, and just the tip of the iceberg in Lance’s reportage of his arresting officer’s career statistics and the many awards she has garnered over the past few years.

Arrested journalist blasts department's top DUI cop was last modified: January 10th, 2019 by admin
Categories: Santa Barbara


  1. Bay
    Bay 28 June, 2011, 20:50

    ONE officer responsible for “more than half the felony and misdemeanor DUI collars of the entire Santa Barbara Police Department” ?? Yeesh!

    Reply this comment
  2. Gregg
    Gregg 30 June, 2011, 11:54

    I understand how the good officers of the Santa Barbara Police Department, should naturally feel compelled to rally behind and support a fellow colleage who’s reputation and integrity suddenly comes into question. However, it concerns me to see sides being drawn and official statements being made proclaiming Buetel as without fault and Lance’s findings and report to be retalitory BS, and that all within the SBPD are united in this.

    With all due respect to the chief and SBPD, it is my opinion as a citizen, that to make such an immediate conclusion does not reflect good policing. Instead it reflects determining guilt and innocence based upon taking sides, not fact.

    It is a fact that a small percentage of innocent people get arrested whether by mistakes in an investigation, overzealousness, or misconduct. It happens to someone somewhere every day, and just because you’re wrongfully arrested by no means guarentee that an innocent defendant can sucessfully exonerate himself in a court of law.

    I trust that the good officers and staff of the SBPD and DA remember to put the public interest first in that they investigate to determine the validity of citizen Lance’s investigative report in the Santa Barbara News Press holds any weight. Only then can they determine whether or not Ofc Buetel is worthy of the accolades and honor of serving the people and the authority of wearing a badge.

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  3. bjess
    bjess 30 June, 2011, 20:35

    Maybe she is just an exceptional officer, but one officer being responsible for more than half of the felony and misdemeanor DUI collars of the of the entire department sure does seem a bit fishy.

    Reply this comment
  4. Jim W
    Jim W 2 July, 2011, 21:13

    I don’t know anything about Off. Beutel or the SBPD, but I was a cop for 25 years. I can tell you that it is easy to find DUI’s. After 10 PM they are all over the road. At times I had a choice of which one to pull over. When I was on the evening shift and wanted to get off work on time I sometimes had to put on the “crime blinders.” I just didn’t want to see weaving or anything else that drunks do.
    As for Off. Beutel’s numbers: I’d believe them. If she is assigned to DUI enforcement and is working the late evening shift on Fridays and Saturdays she could easily get 2 or 3 arrests a night.
    The author, Peter Lance, is not a person I’d believe in this case. He is not an independent observer. He is trying to influence the jury pool for his case. And the DUI defense attorneys; those guys I don’t believe at all. Remember, they are hired to represent their clients. They have no ethical duty to be honest to the public or tell the truth.

    Reply this comment
  5. xo
    xo 5 July, 2011, 21:59

    Right on Mr. Lance…thank god for a man who stands up for what is right and proper….thank you for giving a voice to the common man…..

    Reply this comment
  6. Brian
    Brian 8 July, 2011, 21:09

    I can rest easy at night knowing the fine men and women of law enforcement are ALL bound by their ethical duty and honesty when dealing with the public. To quote Jim W., “crime blinders” appear to be an avenue some “ethical” and “honest” law enforcement officers choose when on the job. Good to know Jim. Its sad when the integrity and honesty of those employed to protect and serve will, at times, choose when to perform their duties. I guess that its not such a reach to assume there may be unethical and untrustworthy individuals in uniform, huh?

    Reply this comment
  7. FrankyLake
    FrankyLake 20 July, 2011, 01:35

    Everyone in this play has a conflict of interest. The Good Chief must defend his Good Officer. The Good Journalist must defeat his DUI charge. The newspaper must give a stage for the characters and collect seating fees for hosting this rant.

    Reply this comment
  8. James
    James 21 July, 2011, 12:08

    I have met both Lance and Beutel. Both seem honorable people so it’s hard to know what’s true. I think it’s probably time SBPD videos all their activities, otherwise it’s simply one person’s word against another’s.

    Reply this comment
  9. RAZ
    RAZ 2 August, 2011, 16:32

    There is obviously something the SBPD is hiding regarding this case. Why is KB pretending she can’t recall whether she occured a shoulder injury or not in the workcomp injury she claimed? Why did she wait 2.5 months? Why does she play teh semantic game when questioned about the alleged injury? She acts guilty of fraud and I feel she is guilty of fraud and corruption.

    Those who bash the SBNP are obviously previous union members who were fired for their union promoting activities while employeed with the SBNP. Them and the mad MADD ladies. These ladies don’t care that innocent people have suffered because of the corruption of KB. Like she, they only care about numbers. Numbers that give them a false sense of purpose. Yes, they at one time served a noble purpose. Today, they have become like AARP. Nothing more then a lobby group hell bent on creating a place in the political spectrum to justify their existence. They are as corrupt as KB. I am happy to see this come to the light of day and focus on the apparent corruption between county departments, MADD and this individual KB, and those who attempt to protect her for their own political gains. Something stinks in Santa Barbara, and it’s the corruption that exists within those who are sworn to protect and serve. What they don’t tell you is that they swear to protect their own, and serve their own purposes.

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