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Helper mayor arrested for investigation of third DUI

Published: Friday, Feb. 22 2013 9:45 p.m. MST

Mayor Dean Armstrong was arrested about 3:20 p.m. and booked into the Carbon County Jail following a minor crash on Main Street in Helper

Geoff Liesik, Deseret News

HELPER, Carbon County — The Helper City Council has scheduled an emergency meeting for Saturday after the mayor was arrested Friday for investigation of his third DUI.

Mayor Dean Armstrong was arrested about 3:20 p.m. and booked into the Carbon County Jail following a minor crash on Main Street in Helper, according to Utah Highway Patrol trooper Lawrence Hopper.

"He was extremely cooperative with the officers," Hopper said.

The council sent out notice just before 8 p.m. Friday announcing that it would hold a closed-door meeting Saturday at 8:30 a.m. to discuss a personnel matter. 

"We don't know all the facts," Mayor Pro Tem Kirk Mascaro told the Deseret News, confirming that the emergency meeting was being held to discuss Armstrong's status as mayor. 

"I was informed after (the arrest) that the mayor was incarcerated and had taken a breath test," Mascaro said. 

Armstong, 51, has two prior convictions for drinking and driving. 

On Nov. 16, 2011, a UHP trooper stopped Armstrong on Main Street in Price after the mayor rolled through a stop sign. The trooper said he smelled alcohol coming from Armstrong's breath and the mayor replied that he'd had a few Bloody Marys, according to the arrest report.

Armstrong told the trooper, "I am not going to be able to walk the test," when he was being instructed on aspects of a field sobriety test, the report states.

"I'm going to stand down. Take me in," the mayor said, according to the report.

Armstrong pleaded guilty in June 2012 to impaired driving, failing to stop at a stop sign and having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle. He was ordered to pay a $1,600 fine, attend substance abuse counseling and wear an ankle monitor for 60 days.

State court records show Armstrong was also convicted in July 1991 of driving under the influence, a class B misdemeanor, in Salt Lake City Justice Court. A charge of negligent collision was dismissed.

Armstrong told the Deseret News in January 2012 that his second DUI was a "bump in the road."  He publicly refused to resign, despite a request from at least one constituent that he do so.

"I've spoken with my council members — publicly and privately — I've had unanimous support from all of them," Armstrong said at the time. "If they did not feel they could work with me in a productive fashion, I would step aside and let someone else do that." 

Armstrong remained in jail Friday night on $3,230 bail.

E-mail: gliesik@desnews.com

Twitter: GeoffLiesik

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