Last week we wrapped up our column with a thought about the things that make you go hmmm. This week, we’re continuing that theme on the heels of Councilman and mayoral hopeful Quinton Lucas’s dust-up with the Lawrence, Kansas Popo. Lucas was arrested in Lawrence early Friday morning and detained on a DUI charge. However, the way it rolled out by Lucas, with his Friday morning email to media outlets, makes this critically thinking newsdog go hmmmmmmm.
On the humorous side, the Dog was reminded of the fabulously hilarioius episode of Everybody Loves Raymond (season 7, episode 21 for the Youtube faithful) in which Deborah gets arrested for the exact same thing in much the same way, sleeping in the car after having a little too much to drink. Her question to the magistrate after her detainment was something Councilman Lucas should be asking as well. How can you have a DUI charge without the D?
All kidding aside, some missteps in this event have this dog scratching our head. Lucas is an attorney. He also teaches law at Kansas University. Generally, those who teach should have a greater grasp of the subject matter than the students but that’s where this dog starts to wonder. Why would a lawyer with full knowledge of the Kansas legal system, under these circumstances get in the driver’s seat of the vehicle? Wouldn’t the passenger seat or the back seat of the vehicle be a much better choice? Why were his keys inside the cab of the vehicle? Someone who knows the law better than the Average Joe would have put them on top of the tire or inside the gas door. Someplace other than within arm’s reach so there would be no mistake about the vehicle being “operated.”
Additionally, with the proliferation of Uber and Lyft, why was that option not chosen? Might have been an expensive ride back to the chic, Lucas pad in the 18th and Vine district, but that fare certainly beats the legal nightmare he faces now both financially and politically.
Lucas’s current predicament reminds this history-minded news pooch of the time in 1972 when Missouri Senator Tom Eagleton was unceremoniously kicked from the presidential ticket by candidate George McGovern for admitting to having undergone electro-shock therapy for depression. Columnist Jack Anderson then ran with a story about Eagleton’s alleged “drunk driving history” and the damage was done without a hint of social media. The Detroit Free Press ran with the “story” and the rest is history.
The dog acknowledges Lucas did the right thing and didn’t attempt to operate a motor vehicle under the influence. If things went down like they were described in Lucas’s emailed mia culpa, we certainly hope he beats the rap. That said, the whole situation brings a number of questions to the forefront about the Councilman’s judgement and critical thinking ability, something that should have been mastered by the end of his novice debate season at Barstow.