New Paltz Police: Drunk driver claimed to be an undercover cop

Police officers often go undercover as drug dealers, but what about drunk drivers? The logic escapes us, as surely it must have for New Paltz Police officers on a recent traffic stop.

At 3:37 a.m. early Saturday morning, officers stopped Matthew W. Valdez, 32, of Ellenville, on Rt. 299. Based on the officer’s observations and Valdez’s performance on the field sobriety tests, he was placed into custody for driving while intoxicated. During the investigation and subsequent processing Mr. Valdez repeatedly claimed to be an undercover police officer for the New York City Police Department. After an investigation and admissions by Mr. Valdez it was determined that he was not a police officer.

Valdez was arrested and charged with:



  • One count Criminal Impersonation in the first degree, a class E Felony
  • One count Common law DWI, a class A Misdemeanor
  • One count Per Se DWI, a class A Misdemeanor
  • Other Vehicle and Traffic Infractions

Valdez was processed at the New Paltz Police Department and arraigned before New Paltz Town Justice James Bacon. Based on a recommendation by the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office Mr. Valdez was remanded to the Ulster County Jail on $2,500 cash bail or $5,000 property bond.