County Sheriff’s lieutenant resigns following DUI arrest

A Washington County Sheriff's lieutenant was arrested on suspicion of DUI following a rollover off state Route 17, Washington County, Feb. 9, 2014 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – A member of Washington County Sheriff’s Office involved in a DUI accident last month has resigned from the agency.

WCSO Lt. Jason “Jake” Adams delivered a letter of resignation which was accepted by the county sheriff, Washington County Sheriff Detective Nate Abbott confirmed Wednesday.

Adams had been placed on administrative leave following a rollover accident on state Route 17 at mile post 1.5, Feb. 9, which resulted in Adams being arrested by the Utah Highway Patrol for drunk driving.

Adams had been driving a Washington County Sheriff’s truck with four of his children inside. They also had a number of firearms in the truck as they were headed to a gun range. While traveling to the range the truck began to drift off the road, over-corrected, and ended up going off the road and down an embankment, ultimately landing on its top.

Everyone was wearing a seatbelt and experienced only minor injuries. No one required medical transport.

According to the probable cause statement, a responding UHP trooper observed Adams being “very unsteady on his feet” and “unable to maintain his balance” while walking to the trooper’s vehicle. Once inside the vehicle the trooper advised Adams he could smell alcohol on his breath. He was arrested after failing a sobriety test.

Adams has been charged with one class-A misdemeanor for driving under the influence of alcohol and one class-C misdemeanor for failing to operate a vehicle in a single lane.

An arraignment hearing for Adams has been scheduled for March 27 at 1:30 p.m. at the Washington County Fifth District Court.

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16 Comments

  • Ashley March 12, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    How unfair!!! If this was any other person, there would have been to many charges to list! Why not any child endangerment charges? Or destruction of government property charges? So on and so forth! I guess it just depends on who you are or who you know! What ever happened to “what’s good for the goose is good for. the gander”? Any other citizen would. have been charged to the fullest. extent of the law and he receives a. slap on the wrist! Smdh as far as I’m concerned when you are in a position to enforce the law, and you break the law, an example should be made of you! You are supposed to lead by. example officer but instead law. enforcement must believe that people should “do as they say, and not as they do”………… these “double standards” the government official, and government employees pull as got me infuriated!

    • Bub March 12, 2014 at 10:28 pm

      We’re lucky it wasn’t his buddy who originally responded to the crash. The fact that he was drunk could have all been covered up if it had been, and his buddy could have corroborated a story about him swerving to miss a deer in the road or something similar. It’s cute (ridiculous) that they let him turn in a resignation instead of just firing him, but we should be glad he was charged at all I guess.

    • Really? March 13, 2014 at 12:42 am

      Ashley, did you even read the story? It looks like he had the book thrown at him, not to mention loosing his job. I guess I am failing to see the double standard, this has been all over the news, his career is over, still has to face criminal charges. Just because he wasn’t charged with what you feel should be charged does not constitute a double standard. Don’t get to infuriated, there will be a bake sale story next week, and they might not have muffins, and that would be a travisity.

    • Flabap March 13, 2014 at 5:36 pm

      I don’t see a double standard here. The only laws that fit are the laws he was charged with. Maybe you should research the laws you are spouting before you accuse the arresting trooper of misconduct.

      • DoubleTap March 14, 2014 at 9:28 am

        FLABAP
        “Possession of firearms while intoxicated” is a crime and a violation of law. He should have been charged with that amongst others.

        • Really? March 14, 2014 at 9:46 am

          I found the reason we are even debating this. On every other new agency they are reporting that he was charged with weapon by intoxicated person. Also DUI with minor in vehicle. I guess you can just say St George News did not report the full story, maybe to insigate a government corruption debate, which seems to be the norm for them.

  • listener March 13, 2014 at 2:37 am

    although it may seem unfair that he doesn’t appear to be getting charged for more than he should, don’t let a 30 second article that briefly explained the situation turn into some sort of set in stone doctrine. Also it may seem even more unfair because of there being no child endangerment charges, but take into consideration, they were going to a gun range, that being said those “kids” of his could easily be around the age of 18-20 give or take, however that is knowledge that hasn’t been released yet. maybe they were younger in age and maybe he is wrongfully getting away with a lot less punishment than he deserves. Let’s just wait until after the hearing when all is said and done.

  • Passed the scene March 13, 2014 at 6:58 am

    Absolutely agree with you! I’m stunned reading this. What kind of message does this send? That our system is corrupted? Oh wait we already knew that, it just got reinforced.

  • Don March 13, 2014 at 7:09 am

    What about the guns with being under the influence according to the law those are charges to how come there letting him off this is bull

  • JOSH DALTON March 13, 2014 at 8:02 am

    That kid should be fired. Now he is going to get a job as a corrections officer or another law enforcment job in a really small town. Or we will see him at Red Cliffs Mall as a secruity guard.

  • DoubleTap March 13, 2014 at 9:02 am

    It is truly a miscarriage of justice when WCSD Lt. Adams is not charged to the FULLEST extent of the law. It is an injustice for the normal, non-law enforcement citizen who, in all probability, had committed the same exact violations WOULD have been charged with ALL pertinent laws broken. As pointed out above by Ashley, child endangerment, destruction of County property, (paid for by US, the taxpayer), possession of firearms while under the influence, to name a few that he “skated” on. Adams should never be allowed to serve in ANY capacity as a law enforcement officer, with ANY law enforcement agency. The only positive action Adams can be credited with in this matter, is that he did the right thing by tendering his immediate resignation. Let hope the justice system does the right thing by sentencing him as it would the non-law enforcement citizen.

  • My Evil Twin March 13, 2014 at 9:08 am

    This article does not dovetail with what the Spectrum article said this morning. According to the Spectrum, he is also being charged with DUI with children in the car, and with being in possession of a weapon while intoxicated. Why the information in this article doesn’t show that, I don’t know.

    • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic March 13, 2014 at 10:46 am

      Good morning, My Evil Twin. The County Attorney’s office brought the two charges reported in our story. The charges you mention were those on which Adams was arrested, the first step in the law and order process. The prosecutor, in this case Special Deputy Washington County Attorney, considers and investigates charges on which a person is booked when they are arrested and decides what charges to prosecute. The Information filed by the prosecutor, Special Deputy Washington County Attorney, for the state of Utah on March 5 includes only the two counts we reported.
      Fair question, thank you MET 🙂
      ST. GEORGE NEWS | STGnews.com
      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

  • My Evil Twin March 13, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Thank you for the clarification.

  • Ken March 13, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Joyce, can you find out why the “Special Deputy Washington County Attorney” didn’t recuse himself from this case as I would think that these two have worked together on previous cases?

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