- Associated Press - Thursday, July 21, 2016

LAS VEGAS (AP) - An off-duty Las Vegas police officer had a blood-alcohol content 50 percent above the legal limit when he crashed his personal SUV several times last weekend and kept driving on a busy stretch of Interstate 15, a prosecutor said Thursday.

However, Officer Antonio Munoz Jr. wasn’t immediately charged with driving under the influence, even though his blood-alcohol count was measured at 0.12 percent following his arrest early Saturday, prosecutor Brian Rutledge said. The legal limit in Nevada is 0.08 percent.

Munoz appeared in custody in court on Wednesday and was charged with three felony counts of leaving the scene of an accident. Each count carries a mandatory two-to-20-years prison sentence if he’s convicted.

Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Suzan Baucum set bail at $100,000 and scheduled a preliminary hearing Oct. 3.

Munoz was freed from custody on Thursday, according to jail records. His attorney, Joshua Tomsheck, didn’t immediately respond to messages.

In court, Tomsheck told the judge that Munoz has severe health issues and has been treated for cancer, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported (https://bit.ly/29RxxWB).

Rutledge said Thursday that Munoz also is expected to face felony drunk-driving charges, once prosecutors receive medical reports of people hurt in the crashes.

Munoz was arrested after he was stopped near Charleston Boulevard in a white GMC Yukon that exited the freeway between the Las Vegas Strip and downtown, according to a Nevada Highway Patrol report.

A passenger in one of the three vehicles hit from behind was being treated for a serious back injury, the highway patrol said. The driver of another car told authorities he felt hip pain.

Munoz also was hurt, and was hospitalized for chest pain before he was booked into the Clark County Detention Center.

Munoz has been a police officer since September 2000. A police spokeswoman said he’s been relieved of duty without pay pending a departmental investigation.

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