Mayor: Open container citation dropped against New Roads police captain

Mayor Robert Myer told the City Council on Tuesday night that one of the city’s high-ranking police officers had not violated the state’s open container laws in a recent investigation into treatment the officer received in an off-duty crash where he was suspected of driving while intoxicated.

But the mayor added new information did not change his indefinite suspension of New Roads police Capt. Mark Munson.

Munson, an 18-year veteran with the New Roads Police Department, was suspended without pay April 8 following a Louisiana State Police investigation into a single-vehicle crash Munson was involved in on March 28.

State Police launched a probe into the crash after witnesses complained, saying Munson was not issued a traffic citation nor arrested after he crashed his truck into a ditch along North Carolina Avenue in New Roads.

Sheriff Bud Torres told reporters during a news conference on April 8 Munson would be cited for failure to maintain control of his vehicle and violating the state’s open-container laws as a result of the investigation. According to a sheriff’s deputy’s incident report on the crash, Munson had a half-empty bottle of gin in the center console of his truck.

Torres said Tuesday night after talking with the deputy he learned the gin bottle was closed, not open.

Myer said previously Munson would have to pay all fines related to the incident, pay any restitution for property damage caused in the crash, complete a driver safety course at the State Police training academy and enroll in an alcohol counseling program before he could return to the city’s police force.

“Capt. Munson is already working on meeting all of those four conditions,” Myer told the City Council during its regular meeting Tuesday night.

In an unrelated matter, the City Council unanimously set a public hearing on May 6 on an amendment to the city’s ordinance regulating operating hours for local nightclubs and bars.

The council is hoping to amend the ordinance to add five additional holidays per year where nightclubs and bars in New Roads will be allowed to remain open until 2 a.m. Those days are Lundi Gras, and the eves of Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day and Thanksgiving.

Under the current ordinance, local bars are only allowed to stay open until 2 a.m. on New Years Eve, Mardi Gras, Memorial Day, July Fourth, Labor Day, Halloween and Christmas Eve.

City officials said the changes were requested by a local restaurant owner.