Alameda County deputy’s truck crash reveals beer cans in the vehicle: report

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A California Highway Patrol office found a crash scene on Interstate-580 last month in Livermore. The driver suspected of causing the November 10 crash was an Alameda County Sheriff’s deputy, Michael Ziller. 

According to the arrest report of the CHP officer, Ziller smelled like alcohol. 

According to the report, CHP Officer Shawn Landers also found “two hand-crushed Coors Light beers cans ” lying on the driver’s seat” inside an Alameda County Sheriff’s Office-owned utility truck.

An ACSO spokesperson said that Ziller had been attempting to drive the truck from a funeral in Livermore back to the Sheriff’s Office in Dublin when the off-duty deputy smashed the car into the back of a tractor-trailer on I-580 near the Vasco Road exit. 

Ziller was trapped inside the truck until firefighter paramedics got him out around 6:45 p.m. 

Once the deputy was placed on a gurney, the CHP officer asked him about circumstances of the collision. “He was very short with his answers and mumbled. I detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage,” Landers wrote.

Ziller told the officer that he had drank “two or three beers,” according to the CHP arrest report.

Landers wrote the deputy was treated for moderate injuries at Eden Medical Center and “respectfully declined” to take a breathalyzer test. 

At 10:34 p.m. about four hours after the crash, Ziller agreed to have his blood drawn for a Blood Alcohol Content test that the CHP collected as evidence.

Earlier this month, the Alameda County District Attorney charged the deputy with misdemeanor DUI.

Ziller was on paid administrative leave while the Sheriff’s Office conducts an internal investigation. 


Charlene is a Bay Area journalist who hails from the small community of Fresno. Drawing from her experience writing for her college paper, Charlene continues to advocate for free press and local journalism. She also volunteers in all the beach cleanups she can because she loves the water.