Head of U.S. Bureau of Prisons Busted for Drunk Driving

By Dirk Hanson 03/31/11
Harley Lappin
Photo via nndb

If you ever needed further proof that alcohol abuse is an equal opportunity employer, consider the case of Harley Lappin, director of the Bureau of Prisons in the U.S. Department of Justice. A public policy website called Main Justice has disclosed that Lappin was arrested for drunk driving in Annapolis last month, after a police officer watched the DOJ official “nearly swerve into a police speed-enforcement trailer,” according to the Washington Post. Lappin, who is due in court June 16, was also charged with reckless driving, negligent driving, and failure to obey a traffic control device. In addition, he picked up a speeding ticket—19 over in a 50-mph zone—the same week in which he announced his plans to retire. “It is with great humility that I offer my most sincere apology to each and every one of you for failing to lead by example,” Lappin said in a prepared statement. The director has jurisdiction over more than 100 prisons in the federal prison system, and had held the job since 2003. It looks like Director Lappin will be continuing his involvement with the U.S. Justice system for a bit longer, retirement or not.

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Dirk Hanson, MA, is a freelance science writer and the author of The Chemical Carousel: What Science Tells Us About Beating Addiction. He is also the author of The New Alchemists: Silicon Valley and the Microelectronics Revolution. He has worked as a business and science reporter for numerous magazines and trade publications including Wired, Scientific American, The Dana Foundation and more. He currently edits the Addiction Inbox blog. Email: [email protected]