A news release from the Durham Police Department said it happened Thursday morning on Fayetteville Street at 9:10 a.m.
Spokesperson Kammie Michael said the officer, Kevin A. Stewart, was driving his marked patrol vehicle north near Timothy Street. He collided with the rear of a northbound vehicle which had slowed for a traffic light.
Stewart suffered minor injuries. The other driver was not hurt.
After the accident, Stewart was taken for mandatory drug and alcohol testing in accordance with Durham City policy.
"Violations such as this will not be tolerated in our department," said Durham Police Chief Jose L. Lopez Sr. "As law enforcement officers we are held to a higher standard and I want the community to know that immediate and proper action is being taken."
Stewart joined the Durham Police Department in January 2009 and is assigned to the Patrol Bureau. He has been placed on administrative leave.