2007 Year in Review: DUI Educators Caught in Hypocritical DUIs
By: Mary Ann Pekara
As the wealthy and desirable Portia states in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, "It is a good divine that follows his own instructions." Leaving literary allusions aside, warnings of the danger of hypocrisy should be heeded by public officials whose jobs involve public education on crime.
It seems that DUI offenses are an all-too common occurrence for public servants such as law enforcement officers and politicians. But when the individual's job is to supervise education on substance abuse, alcoholism and road safety, the irony of a DUI arrest becomes all too disturbing.
The plain fact is, humans are fallible creatures. But perhaps government officials may want to learn from the mistakes of the examples below from the year 2007, and investigate a little more carefully those who are set in the public eye as role models for clean and sober behavior.
DUI Mess for 3 Pittsburgh Officers
2007 started off with quite a bang for 3 Pittsburgh police officers implicated in a cover-up for one officer who was arrested for DUI on New Year's morning, January 1, 2007. Though many police officers are found guilty of misconduct, this case is particularly egregious given the intricacy of the situation. Tobias Yuhouse was reportedly stopped by fellow officer Fred Hill in the town of Versailles. Hill faced departmental discipline for initially attempting to let Yuhouse go before Yuhouse became "belligerent." Doug Yuhouse, the third officer, allegedly made phone threats against Hill for arresting his brother. All in all, not a particularly good behavior model for those entrusted to "protect and serve."
Kentucky Liquor Control Officer Resigns after DUI Arrest
On September 24, the executive director for Kentucky's Office of Alcoholic Beverage Control resigned after being arrested for DUI in Nicholasville, Kentucky. Ex-director Chris Lilly reportedly registered 0.18 in a blood test taken at a Jessamine County detention center, and submitted his resignation and a public apology just one day after local media outlets reported the news of his arrest. The Office of Alcoholic Beverage Control regulates alcohol and tobacco industries in Kentucky through governing licensing, education and law enforcement.
New Mexico Public Safety Supervisor Arrested for DUI
September 24 was an ominous date for public officials working in the field of substance abuse education. Conrad Chavira, a supervisor at the New Mexico Department of Public Safety, also resigned on this date after being stopped at a DUI checkpoint in Roswell, New Mexico. Though it was not immediately clear what Chavira's role at the Department of Public Safety was before his resignation, one of the department's main functions is to enforce state alcohol laws. Chavira was charged with aggravated DUI, and his record also contains a prior DUI charge from 1991.
DUI Bust for South Dakota Office of Highway Safety Official
The state director for South Dakota's Office of Highway Safety was placed on leave after an arrest for DUI on October 24. Meyer pleaded guilty to the charge, and was sentenced to pay a $500 fine and given a suspended 30-day jail sentence. As a result of the arrest and the negative publicity surrounding it, Meyer tenured his resignation with the Office of Highway Safety on October 29. The Office of Highway Safety administers grants and funds designed to help improve the state's record on highway deaths and their causes.
Guam Youth Services Officer Gets 3rd DUI This Year
On Christmas weekend, two service officers from the Guam Department of Youth Affairs were arrested for DUI, including one officer whose arrest was the third such arrest for DUI just this year. Thomas Michael Talavera was reportedly still being assessed by the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse for his second DUI, which took place in November, when this third citation was given. The DYA director was reviewing all options and considers dismissal likely.