Even those who are in charge of the cities and towns that people live in get in trouble with the law from time to time. A Tacoma councilman found this out after he was pulled over just after midnight on Jan. 20. He was suspected of drinking and driving and subsequently arrested.
The man, who has served on the Tacoma City Council since 2010, was pulled over near the I-5 and I-705 interchange after police officers noticed him veering onto the shoulder twice. He cooperated with police and voluntarily submitted to field sobriety testing. He admitted he had been drinking after police noticed the smell of alcohol on his breath. His blood alcohol content (BAC) registered above the legal limit of 0.08.
The councilman was taken to the Tacoma Police Department and later released. His car was impounded. He had three passengers in his car at the time of his arrest. Charges will be made by a prosecutor in another county due to a conflict of interest: the councilman and the Pierce County Prosecutor are friends.
A DUI conviction can result in a wide variety of penalties based on the circumstances surrounding the incident, as well as the severity of the offense and the offender's criminal history. For example, drunk driving that involves an accident or property damage may involve harsher penalties than this case, where nobody was hurt and no accident occurred. Also, if this is the councilman's first offense, the judge may be lenient with him. However, he may still have his driver's license suspended or be forced to perform community service or pay a fine.
Source: The News Tribune, "Tacoma Councilman Ryan Mello suspected of DUI," Christian Hill, Jan. 22, 2013