The Ross County Treasurer was charged with drinking-and-driving earlier this month, and it was not his first time.
We all watched the video of a state of Ohio Highway Patrolman pulling over elected official Steven Neal, Jr., late at night, around 2 a.m. In the video, Neal admits to drinking, and clearly, he is seen in the video as driving. 1+1= 2. “I’ve had two-or-three beers,” and being pulled over and stopped red handed with your hands on the steering wheel is the same as your fingerprints being on the knife, and gunshot residue on your hands.
Steven Neal, Jr., admitted to the trooper that he had been drinking-and-driving. Steven Neal, Jr., is no stranger to this process, either. In 2003, he was charged with drug possession, but that case was later dismissed in a plea bargain. He was also charged with the then-equivalent of drinking-and-driving, but plead down to a lesser charge; and this is just in Ross County. We’re still working on compiling his background for other counties and statewide.
11,024 people to date have been arrested in Ohio by the Highway Patrol alone. That does not include arrests by other agencies, including Sheriff offices and police departments. Last year, 12,549 people were arrested by the state patrol for drinking-and-driving.
In Ross County this year alone, 109 people have been arrested by troopers for drinking-and-driving. drinking-while-driving is not cool, people. Statistics show that even buzzed driving is drunken driving.
Steven Neal, Jr., admitted to the trooper he had drinks. Steven Neal Jr., decided it was okay to get behind the wheel of his half-ton pickup truck and drive home, swerving lanes and traveling left-of-center into the path of oncoming traffic, allegedly.
Steven Neal, Jr., could have killed your family or mine with a 2,000 pound weapon at his impaired-driving-judgement disposal. The man can’t even drive to work and perform his duties for the taxpayers of Ross County because he is not allowed to drive as his license are suspended.
I am a firm believer in our democracy’s core belief that we are “innocent until proven guilty,” but I believe that is on a case-by-case basis. When you admit to the state trooper on dashcam video that you have been drinking and you are caught driving, you admit to breaking the law. An admission voids the “innocent until proven guilty” clause in the court of public opinion, for the most part.
Steven Neal, Jr., could have killed your family or mine with a 2,000 pound weapon.
Steven Neal, Jr., should resign immediately.
Derek Myers is the interim editor-in-chief of the Guardian. His views do not necessarily reflect that of the publication; this is an editorial and opinion piece properly categorized as such.