Alaska priest charged with driving under the influence, drugs and weapons offenses

Father Sean Thomson was pulled over with an alleged BAC of 0.247, as well as two guns and marijuana.
By Evan Bleier   |   April 1, 2014 at 11:59 AM   |   Comments

April 1 (UPI) -- A priest in Alaska ran into some difficulty during a liquid-related incident … and it wasn’t holy water that was involved.

Father Sean Thomson of the University of Alaska Fairbanks parish was stopped and charged with driving under the influence, as well as a number of misdemeanor drugs and weapons offenses, after a trooper observed his pickup truck doing 79 mph in a 65 mph zone.

Trooper Christopher Bitz observed the 52-year-old’s GMC Sierra truck “weaving, crossing the center line and speeding,” according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

When Bitz approached the vehicle and asked Thomson for his registration, the priest handed over a receipt instead.

Thomson did tell Bitz that he had a .357 in the back of the truck, but did not tell the officer that he had a 9mm pistol in his back pocket. He also failed to inform Bitz about the small quantity of marijuana he had stashed in his shirt.

After an initial breath test put Thomson’s BAC level at 0.247 -- three times the legal limit -- troopers asked him to take a more-accurate Datamaster test. He refused because "[he] said he was drunk and did not feel the test was necessary," according to Bitz.

In addition to DUI, Thomson was charged with refusal to take to a chemical alcohol test, drugs misconduct, and two counts of weapons misconduct.

The Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks placed Thomson on administrative leave. He pleaded not guilty at his first court hearing.

[Fairbanks Daily News-Miner]

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