5 Other Arizona Public Officials Who Were Busted for DUI

Charles Tack
Charles Tack MCSO
Last week, Arizona Board of Charter Schools director Charles Tack became the latest public official arrested for drinking and driving in Arizona. The 31-year-old blew nearly twice the legal speed limit after veering into oncoming traffic on the Loop 202 — quite drunk, but not quite as drunk as some of the other taxpayer-funded leaders who've been cuffed for driving inebriated.

Tack joins a list that includes former governors, state representatives, police officials, and more. Here are five of them:

1. Years before she became governor, Jan Brewer was arrested after knocking back some scotch and slamming into a minivan when she was a state senator in 1988. She was never charged.

According to the Republic, which admits it obtained the records through a source other than the Department of Public Safety, on May 4, 1988, Brewer, then a state senator, was driving on Interstate 17 when she crashed into the back of a mini-van.

Brewer failed a series of sobriety tests, and the DPS officer on the scene said she appeared drunk and that her breath smelled like booze.

Brewer was cuffed and taken to the station, where she was supposed to have her blood-alcohol level tested.

The test never happened. Rather, Brewer had a chat with a lieutenant before two officers drove her home. She was never charged.

At the scene, Brewer told officers she had one scotch before getting in the car. Later, at the station, Brewer conceded that she had two, which was the third story Brewer told the officers.
2. In 2012, a drunk former State Representative David Burnell Smith pulled a "Do you know who I am?" with Scottsdale police.

The Arizona Republic discovered Smith's arrest and reports that a motorist called the cops because Smith's Chrysler 300 was swerving into oncoming traffic, and Smith parked about two or three feet of his car in the roadway after he was pulled over.

After he "stumbled" out of the car and refused field-sobriety tests, "Smith initially inhaled several times" into the breathalyzer, according to the report obtained by the Republic, but he finally exhaled and scored a .137, the paper says.

According to the Associated Press, Smith explained that he didn't drink alcohol, but "only had mouthwash" a couple hours prior. Whether he was chugging or just swishing isn't mentioned.

And, to add the final element of a legendary alleged DUI arrest, Smith reportedly asked the arresting officer, "Do you know who I am?"
3. Former Republican candidate for governor Christine Jones claimed to have only had "one drink" before blowing .102 in 2004.

Jones was stopped at 2:26 a.m. on April 10, 2004, in her Lincoln Aviator, the police report obtained by New Times shows.

Phoenix police officer GW Rice, going eastbound on Ray Road near 32nd Street, saw the SUV "driving down the middle of the two lanes" at about 35 mph, the report states. He did a U-turn and noticed the vehicle was still driving in the middle of two lanes. As he tailed Jones westbound, he saw the SUV weave well into a bicycle lane, continuing in the bike lane for "200-300 feet until I initiated a traffic stop..."

Jones told the officer she was very tired and thanked him for stopping her. He noticed she had bloodshot, watery eyes and had a moderate reek of booze.

"I asked her how much she had to drink tonight and she stated 'one drink earlier with dinner,'" the report says, later adding that she'd stopped drinking before 10 p.m.
4. Mesa Police Lieutenant Rick Van Galder promised to retire before blowing a .306.

Richard “Rick” Van Galder, who had more than 20 years on the force, was stopped in February with his wife, Teresa, a Mesa PD homicide detective, as they were trying to make it home after a day of golfing and drinking. Van Galder had been driving erratically and slurred his words as he tried to talk Gilbert police officers out of citing him.

As Wendy Halloran from Channel 12 News (KPNX-TV) reported earlier this month, body-cam footage shows Van Galder promising to retire the next day, asking to be allowed to walk home and telling the cops, “your hands aren’t tied.” He subjected the officers to a profanity-laden speech and told them he normally would have 140 officers in “awe” of everything he said, Halloran reported.

Van Galder refused a field test but blew a .306 BAC in a breath test. Anything higher than .20 is considered "supreme-extreme" DUI under Arizona law.
5. Last year, an inebriated State Representative David Cook told a state trooper he was "making a mistake."

According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Cook was observed drifting in and out of his lane on the Loop 202 near McDowell Road on Wednesday night around 11:30 p.m.

When an officer asked him for his driver's license, Cook handed over his House ID card, according to a DPS incident report, raising questions about whether Cook meant to use his status as a lawmaker to escape a citation.

Cook also explained to a trooper that the reason for his driving was because he had dropped his phone. "Do you know what you're doing son?" Cook said, according to the incident report. "You're making a mistake," he added, before getting out of his Ford pickup at the request of an officer.
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Steven Hsieh was a staff writer for Phoenix New Times from August 2018 to April 2020.
Contact: Steven Hsieh