Lt. Fred Swain

TAYLORSVILLE — The head of the Utah Highway Patrol's DUI squad, who was charged last week with drunken driving, has resigned.

Lt. Fred Swain submitted his resignation letter Friday morning.

"My behavior has not been consistent with the best requirements of the department," he wrote. "I can only do the right thing from this day forth. I am in need of correcting my behavior and becoming once again the type of person I once was not so long ago."

Swain was arrested for investigation of drunken driving June 23 after crashing his unmarked patrol car into a concrete barrier on the Bangerter Highway near 400 West. His blood alcohol content was 0.116, more than the state limit of 0.08, according to a police report. Swain was not injured in the crash and said he had fallen asleep at the wheel.

"His career is over," UHP Col. Scott Duncan said Friday in announcing the resignation.

Although Swain can apply to be an officer at another agency if he wants to, he will never again work for the Utah Highway Patrol.

An internal investigation into the incident was continuing Friday. Duncan said the investigation would look into the circumstances of that evening. Until the investigation is completed, Duncan said he couldn't comment on what Swain was doing prior to the crash.

But he said that Swain had admitted to him Friday that he had been battling a drinking problem for the past two years.

"No one had any idea it was happening," Duncan said.

Swain, who was head of four squads with the Department of Public Safety, including DUI, SWAT and K9s, performed all his duties successfully during those two years, just as he had done for the past 15 years, Duncan said.

Swain said that while the pressures of his numerous responsibilities may have helped fuel his drinking problem, they weren't the root cause of it.

"He's not using it as an excuse," Duncan said.

The drunken-driving incident wasn't discovered by the media until nearly a week after it happened. Duncan said administrators struggled with whether to release the information immediately or wait until the internal investigation was completed. But he stressed there was never an attempt to hide what happened.

"There's no way we'd ever think of trying to cover something like this up," Duncan said.

Swain still faces a court hearing for his misdemeanor charge.


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