Doug Hoffman And Primary Opponent Tussle Over Drunk-Boating Arrests

Doug Hoffman, the unsuccessful Conservative Party candidate in the hectic NY-23 special election last year, and his primary challenger in the Republican primary this year, Matt Doheny, are now squabbling over a big issue: Doheny’s previous arrests for boating-under-the-influence.

On Friday, Hoffman called on Doheny to release paperwork from the case, which Doheny did later that day. The two incidents both occurred in July 2004, two weeks apart. In the first incident, which occurred at 3:20 a.m. ET, Doheny was fined $1,000 for BUI, plus $75 for not having a required personal flotation device. For the second episode, which occurred at 2 a.m. ET, he paid $1,000 for BUI, plus $425 for not having a state registration.

Hoffman and Doheny will face off in the September 14 Republican primary. Hoffman is simultaneously running on the Conservative Party line, while Doheny is also running with the Independence Party, under New York’s fusion voting system. Doheny has said he would drop out of the race if he lost the Republican nod, while Hoffman has kept the door open to possibly continuing as a Conservative. The incumbent is Democrat Bill Owens, who narrowly won the special election last year against Hoffman after the moderate Republican, Dede Scozzafava, was forced out of the race by national right-wing pressure (and some of her own campaign’s missteps).From the Adirondack Daily Enterprise:

Statements from the Coast Guard officers who boarded the vessel on July 10 say Doheny yelled at them and made threatening movements, questioned their authority to board the boat, refused to say whether he had been drinking but was stumbling and had slurred speech. He pulled away as they tried to handcuff him and was still combative when state police arrived on the scene. Doheny failed three of the seven field sobriety tests and then failed to take the breathalyzer correctly after several tries, not blowing enough air into it.

The second time, Doheny admitted to having drunk five beers and one vodka with Red Bull earlier, according to the officers’ statements. Both boarding officers said he was cooperative. They brought Doheny onto the Coast Guard boat and docked Doheny’s boat to allow his guests to disembark before conducting the field sobriety tests. Doheny also failed to blow into the breathalyzer hard enough after numerous tries, but ended up doing it and registering a blood alcohol content of .096.

Hoffman noted that his son is a decorated state trooper. Douglas T. Hoffman (the father is Douglas L.) was honored after being injured in an August 2007 shooting incident in Tupper Lake.

“I quite frankly find it disturbing that a candidate for Congress would act this way with individuals who are sworn to protect us,” Hoffman said.