There's been some rumors circulating around the state that Governor Jan Brewer was involved in a drunk-driving related collision in 1988. Here are the facts as claimed by the Arizona Republic's AZ Fact Check.
Jan Brewer rear-ended another vehicle on Interstate 17 in May 1988, when she was a state senator. DPS officers said that she was at fault for the accident and believed that she was intoxicated at the time of the crash. She reportedly had breath smelling of alcohol and failed a series of field sobriety tests. At the police station, the then state senator denied being drunk but said that she had consumed two drinks of Scotch.
However, Jan Brewer's DUI case never even went to trial. Apparently, once a DPS officer learned that Jan Brewer was a senator, she was told that she had immunity from arrest. As stated in the Arizona Republic, the state's constitution does exempt lawmakers from arrest during the legislative session, with the only exceptions being for crimes involving treason, a felony or breach of peace.
Perhaps we'll never know if Jan Brewer was driving under the influence on the night of her accident. Some Arizona DUI attorneys might question why the then state senator was not charged with DUI after the two-year session ended. After all, members of the legislature don't always get their misdemeanor crime cases completely dropped.
Ironically, Jan Brewer has held a conservative stance when it comes to drunk driving in the state. This year, she signed SB 1420, which increases penalties for juveniles that violate DUI laws. As a state senator, Jan Brewer voted for HB 1003, which increased the minimum jail sentence for a first offense from 24 hours to 10 days.
For more information on DUIs in Arizona, please visit our Related Resources links.