Paul Larkin, Pinal County Assessor, Over Legal Limit in DUI Arrest

Pinal County Assessor Paul Larkin had a .11 blood alcohol level the night he was arrested on suspicion of DUI last month.

The elected official was arrested February 7 following a tip to a Pinal County Web site that he often hits a bar after work and drives home "inebriated," as our blog post about Larkin's public indiscretion disclosed. A deputy from the Pinal County Sheriff's office staked out the Kokopelli Moon Saloon and, after observing Larkin's pickup weaving, pulled him over.

Larkin blew a .099 in a breath teast. But, as Sheriff Paul Babeu's spokesman, Tim Gaffney, tells us today, the word from the Arizona Department of Public Safety's crime lab is that Larkin's bloodwork revealed the greater number.

In an e-mail, Gaffney writes:

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office will be submitting the below charges to the Coolidge City Court next week regarding this case.

1. Driving while impaired to the slightest degree by alcohol. 2. Driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more.

True, Larkin wasn't totally shitfaced, but he's well over the legal limit. A conviction should be a snap.

This won't mean Larkin will have to step down, and since he's been the assessor since 19-frickin'-84, he probably won't. It could hurt Larkin in the next election.

This could mean good news next year for Pinal County landowners, since Larkin'll be looking for a little extra love from voters.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern