Practicing what you preach...

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The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that the (soon to be former!) head of the Utah Highway Patrol's DUI efforts, Lt. Fred Swain, was himself arrested for driving under the influence recently after he crashed an unmarked patrol car late at night.

Lt. Fred Swain was westbound on Bangerter Highway, near 400 West, about 2:25 a.m. on June 23 when he veered off the right shoulder, overcorrected and hit a concrete barrier that separates the east- and west-bound lanes, UHP Lt. Doug McCleve said.

While Swain said he fell asleep at the wheel, officers suspected he had been drinking, said Draper police Sgt. Scott Peck.

Swain, 41, declined medical attention several times and said it wasn't necessary for him to contact his UHP supervisors about the crash, said Peck.

Draper officer Kevin Easter stated that Swain was "acting strange" and wouldn't stand near officers or troopers as they questioned him. Easter detected an odor of alcohol about Swain, who was "very impaired" as he filled out a statement, according to Easter's written report.

Swain, who denied he had been drinking, initially refused to submit to a field sobriety test or a portable breath test until two UHP captains talked to him, stated the report. The test, taken about two hours after the crash, showed Swain's blood-alcohol level was nearly 0.12 percent - well above Utah's legal limit of 0.08 percent.

As far as possible punishment the article goes on to quote Draper City Prosecutor Melanie Serassio:

The maximum punishment for a class B misdemeanor DUI is 180 days in jail and a $1,850 fine. But Serassio said the standard punishment for first-time DUI offenders is two days in jail and a $1,400 fine. She said the judge may order community service in lieu of the jail time. Swain also could lose his driver's license.

I hope the judge imposes the absolute harshest penalty allowed under the law once he is convicted, even if he is a first time offender. Someone in such a public position of trust should be held to the highest standards.

—Michael A. Cleverly

Comment

Christi: [ mail | www | link ]

It is nice how you can stand back and make judgement but everyone makes mistakes and I believe LT. Swains ability to stand up in public and admit his proves his integrity. The man made a mistake he does not deserve to be treated any differently than anyone else who has made the same mistake. So your idea of a harsher punishment is to please no one but yourself.

Mon, 03 Jul 2006, 23:32

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