Skip to main content
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Find a Lawyer

More Options

Priest Gets Busted for DUI, Firearms, Pot Possession

By Brett Snider, Esq. on April 02, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

An Alaskan priest is facing DUI, firearms, and pot charges after a less-than-pious stunt on the Parks Highway.

Father Sean P. Thomson, 52, was pulled over for weaving into oncoming traffic and speeding, after which the officer discovered he was packing both heat and weed, reports The Associated Press.

Priests may be forgiven, but Thomson will need more than penitence before a judge.

Holy Driver, Drifting Wrong and Packing Green

Thomson wasn't exactly driving with holy purpose when he was pulled over near McKinley Village, Alaska. State trooper Christopher Bitz wrote in Thomson's criminal complaint that he was "speeding 79 mph in a 65 zone" and "crossing the center line," reports the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

Speeding or weaving on the highway aren't cardinal sins, but they do give officers reasonable suspicion to pull drivers over for a DUI stop. In the case of the University of Alaska priest, he blew a 0.247 percent blood-alcohol level on a preliminary Breathalyzer test. Thomson then told Bitz he didn't need to take the more accurate chemical test because "he was drunk," reports the News-Miner.

Then there's the marijuana that Bitz found in a pocket of Thomson's hoodie. It's possible that his (Virgin?) Mary Jane was medicinal -- after all, Alaska was one of the first states to legalize medical marijuana -- but that wouldn't get him off the hook for the guns.

Armed With God's Love... and 2 Handguns

Yes, you can be a man of faith and carry handguns ("Dog the Bounty Hunter" manages), but you can't do so while intoxicated. In Alaska, possessing a firearm while under the influence can get you sentenced to up to a year in jail.

Not to mention that when Bitz asked Thomson if he had any weapons in the car, Thomson allegedly said no, the News-Miner reports. Failing to immediately inform an officer that you're packing in Alaska is a misdemeanor, and Thomson is accused of neglecting to mention a 9mm pistol in his back pocket. Thomson did mention the .357 in the back seat, but a judge may not find his 50-percent forthrightness that redeeming.

Thomson's next court date is set for later this month. He may need a miracle to avoid jail time.

Follow FindLaw for Consumers on Facebook and Twitter (@FindLawConsumer).

Related Resources:

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:
Copied to clipboard