September 2022 Officer of the Month
Officer Zach Azari
Charleston Police Department, South Carolina
MADD proudly recognizes Officer Zach Azari of the Charleston Police Department as our Officer of the Month for September 2022. Officer Azari joined the Charleston Police Department Traffic Division at the end of 2019 to pursue his passion in traffic enforcement, namely his razor focus on impaired driving enforcement.
In 2021, Officer Azari has made a staggering 118 Driving Under the Influence (DUI) arrests. Nine (9) of those DUI arrests were General Sessions level charges, included a Felony DUI charge that stemmed from a highly publicized fatality on King Street in February 2021. He also accumulated six (6) additional arrests because of his rigorous enforcement tactics. His arrests have been made during his regularly scheduled shifts and undoubtedly prevented many serious collisions and saved lives.
Officer Azari holds numerous advanced training certifications related to impaired driving enforcement and accident reconstruction. Specifically, in 2021, Officer Azari became certified as a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE), placing him an elite group of about 100 police officers certified in South Carolina. The advanced certification has led to several narcotics induced impaired drivers. Officer Azari is well known in the Tri-County area for his advanced certifications, and he has been called upon by outside agencies at least five (5) times to assist in impairment detection. Many of those calls occurred while he was not scheduled to work- he makes himself available 24/7 for callouts. He is State certified instructor for a 1- week course in Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFST). He instructed his first class of over twenty (20) officers in 2021 and will be instructing a second SFST course during the week of December 13th.
Officer Azari is a member of CPD’s Major Accident Investigations Team (MAIT) and has responded to over twenty (20) MAIT callouts in 2021 that either resulted in a fatality or involved serious injuries, often involving drug/ alcohol impairment. Officer Azari routinely responded to callouts despite not being scheduled because of his dedication to the Traffic Division, the Charleston Police Department, and the City of Charleston. His primary responsibility at these major collision scenes was to determine whether drug/ alcohol impairment was a factor and seek charges/ evidence preservation when applicable. Officer Azari often sought search warrants to obtain blood samples in major collision scenes to further the case and secure proper evidence necessary for conviction(s).
Officer Azari became an active committee member for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in 2021. He is responsible for planning and marketing community events that create awareness and offer educational resources to help curb impaired driving.
Officer Azari’s accomplishments in 2021 offer as a testimonial to his devotion to the City of Charleston Police Department, the residents of his community, and roadway safety. His accomplishments this year elevated himself above his peers in 2021. The atmosphere he creates inspires others around him to follow in his path.
MADD National is proud to recognize Officer Zach Azari as the September 2022 Officer of the Month. We thank him for his many years of dedicated service to the citizens of Charleston and the State of South Carolina. We wish him the best in safety and wellness in the remaining years of his career and service to the citizens of Charleston.
Thank you to MADD’s Regional Executive Director Steven Burritt for his nomination of Officer Azari for this recognition.