Idaho state senator John McGeeEnlarge Photo
It's been said that booze and politics shouldn't mix. Over the weekend, one state senator from Idaho learned the wisdom of those words the hard way.
Things began innocently enough with a round of drinks at a golf club just outside Boise on Saturday night. News reports don't indicate how many rounds followed, but shortly after 2:00am Sunday morning, Republican John McGee -- the youngest elected official in the senate -- toddled out of the clubhouse and eventually stumbled upon a Ford Excursion. At that point, McGee apparently decided he was tired of walking and opted to drive the vehicle home. (This being a quiet, suburban neighborhood, the keys were in the unlocked car.)
Things might've gone okay for McGee, except for the fact that the Excursion had a 20-foot trailer hitched to the back. When he pulled into a driveway to turn the vehicle around, the trailer jacknifed into the home's yard, bring his joyride to an abrupt end. According to a group of children who were up well past their bedtimes, McGee wandered up and down the street a couple of times, then crawled into the back of the Excursion and went to sleep.
When deputies arrived at 3:00am, McGee told them he was en route to Jackpot, Nevada -- just across the border -- but they thought he might prefer a trip downtown. Their suspicions were confirmed when McGee blew an impressive .15 on a breath test, which is about twice Idaho's legal blood alcohol limit of .08. At 4:27am, he was booked with driving under the influence and grand theft.
McGee hasn't yet issued a formal statement about the matter. He's due to be arraigned today.
As a side note, McGee has a history in transportation policy, having served as chair of the senate's Transportation committee. He also led efforts to raise Idaho fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees, but like that breathalyzer test, he failed on both counts.