If you had a beer named after you and were the company’s vice chairman, regularly appearing on TV asking your customers to drink, but responsibly, would you make sure not to drive drunk? Pete Coors wouldn’t. In May he was stopped after rolling through a stop sign on his own block. He was arrested when a breathalyzer test showed his blood alcohol level to be .088 percent.
The court in Golden, Colorado, decided to make an example of the man whose company has made the town famous. An example, that is, of how to get no more than a slap on the hand for a drunk driving charge. Last Friday, Coors pled guilty to driving while impaired (though his blood alcohol level clearly put him in the more serious category of driving under the influence). His sentence? Twenty-four hours of community service and a suspended license for three months. The judge also waived the $200 fine, which would surely have broken Mr. Coors. With widely-publicized punishments like these, it’s no wonder the number of pedestrian and cyclist fatalities has skyrocketed this past year.