Archive for category Michael Waddoups

Utah Senate Majority Leader Arrested for Suspected DUI

KillpackKUTV channel 2 is reporting:

One of the state’s leading lawmakers was arrested Thursday night for driving under the influence.

Sheldon Killpack is the republican majority leader in the state senate. He was arrested near 3300 South 700 East just after midnight Thursday. [snip]

Senate President Michael Waddoups and Majority Leader Sheldon Killpack issued the following public statements:

Statement: Senate President Michael Waddoups:

“Senate Majority Leader Sheldon Killpack was arrested late Thursday night on suspicion of driving under the influence. Senator Killpack was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail and later released. The Utah Highway Patrol is working with the appropriate authorities on what is now a legal matter.

“This is a difficult time for Senator Killpack and his family. He has requested privacy as he addresses the situation with those closest to him. When he and I spoke this morning he indicated he is accountable for his actions and I respect him for that. Senator Killpack has served this state, and the Senate, with distinction and he remains in our hearts and prayers.”

Statement: Majority Leader Sheldon Killpack:

“I am deeply sorry for the impact this incident will have on those who support and trust me — my colleagues in the senate, my constituents and, most importantly, my family. I am a firm believer in responsibility and personal accountability, and am prepared to accept all personal, legal and political consequences for my actions.”

Coming just weeks before the start of the 2010 legislative session, we can only wonder what impact this might have. I would think it likely Killpack will step down from his leadership position if not resign entirely from the senate. And certainly it might make even more difficult the efforts to make more liquor licenses available to Utah bars and restaurants. Not that it should, but the strongly Mormon legislature is fairly ignorant about alcohol use and abuse and could use this event to stymie those efforts.

I won’t even speculate on the report that there was a male passenger in the car.

ht to KVNU FTP Tyler Riggs

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Utah’s Private Clubs – Lawmaker Delusions

Utah Governor Jon Huntsman says our 40-year old private club law is bad for business and he’d like to see it eliminated. And he’s right. The law, after all, accomplishes nothing related to alcohol consumption. People who want to go to a bar, manage to figure out what they need to do. Then they proceed to drink in the way they will–moderately or excessively. The private club law makes no difference in an individual’s consumption of alcohol.

But the new president of Utah’s Senate, Michael Waddoups, opposes any change in the private club law.

Several senate sources told ABC 4 News that Waddoups doesn’t like doing away with clubs. Specifically, he’s concerned about underage drinking and DUI’s.

In fact, several years ago, Waddoups wife was badly hurt in a car accident. It involved someone driving under the influence. ABC 4’s sources say this is a big reason the senate president will likely fight to keep the club system in place.

One can understand Waddoups’ personal aversion to alcohol consumption due to its impact on his own family. But we have to have some sense about this. Making people have a ‘membership’ just to walk through the door does not address Waddoups’ concerns–does not prevent even one DUI. Any club ‘member’ can get a whole crowd of people in. The club is still responsible for ensuring all who enter are of age. Individuals still must exercise personal responsibility for their consumption. Nothing magic happened because of the way they entered the bar. People who drink excessively and get behind the wheel, will do so regardless of how they got into the bar.

Lawmakers who don’t imbibe think all liquor laws are good laws, period. I would urge Senate President Waddoups and others to try to get past their personal prejudices, understand that alcohol will be consumed, and laws controlling that consumption should have some effect besides simply making people jump through hoops. Think about the real effect of the law. If it doesn’t accomplish its purpose, then let’s get rid of it. Governor Huntsman is right about this.

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