UHP: Helper mayor jailed after alleged DUI arrest, traffic accident
Crime • Court records show mayor has two previous DUI convictions.
Published: February 23, 2013 10:54AM
Updated: February 23, 2013 11:08AM

The mayor of Helper was in jail late Friday after being arrested for investigation of a third DUI, the Utah Highway Patrol said.

Dean Armstrong, 51, was arrested about 3:20 p.m. after a minor accident on Main Street in Helper, said UHP trooper Lawrence Hopper. A field Breathalyzer test indicated Armstrong’s blood alcohol level was .169, Hopper said. Under Utah law, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level above .08.

Armstrong, who was elected to a four-year-term as mayor in 2010, remained in the Carbon County jail Friday night. Bail was set at $3,230, a county corrections officer said.

No specific details of the accident were available on Friday, but Hopper said no one was injured.

No formal charges have been filed.

Helper is a town of about 2,000 residents roughly 120 miles southeast of Salt Lake City.

Helper’s City Council was expected to meet at 8:30 a.m. Saturday to discuss the matter, said Mayor Pro Tem Kirk Mascaro. It was not clear on Friday what action the council might be able to take, Mascaro told The Salt Lake Tribune.

“It’s all up in the air right now. We just have bits and pieces of information,” Mascaro said. “It’s very unfortunate, but we have to go through it and move on.”

This is the second time Armstrong has been arrested on suspicion of DUI since serving as mayor, Mascaro said. The first arrest was in Nov. 2011, also by the UHP, court records show.

In May 2012, Armstrong pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of impaired driving, open container/drinking alcohol in a vehicle, and failing to stop or yield to a traffic sign, court records show. A judge suspended any jail time and placed Anderson on one year of probation. The terms of probation included a fine. Armstrong also was ordered to wear an ankle monitor for 60 days. The monitor was removed in September, jail records show.

Helper’s council met following the 2011 arrest, but took no action against Armstrong, Mascaro said.

“The decision was to give him a second chance,” he said.

Court records also indicate that Armstrong pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence in June 1991 in Salt Lake City. Armstrong, who was not mayor at the time, received a suspended jail sentence and was ordered to perform community service, pay a fine and attend alcohol counseling, court records show. An additional charge of negligent collision was dropped.

jdobner@sltrib.com