Carson school board member Joe Enge arrested on suspicion of drunk driving
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer
Carson City School Board member Joe Enge was arrested early Saturday on suspicion of drunken driving after a Carson City officer spotted Enge’s van allegedly weaving down Highway 50 East without headlights.
“I apologize to everyone in the community. I know I’ve let people down,” Enge said Saturday evening from his home, two hours after he posted bail on a charge of drunken driving. “I’ve gotten hints before and failed to heed them, and this is more than a hint. I need to definitely take care of this. It can no longer be ignored.”
Carson City Sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Humphrey said he was in the area of Gold Dust West and Highway 50 East about 3 a.m. when he noticed Enge’s 1998 Dodge passenger van eastbound on the highway without headlights.
Deputy John Hitch said that he began to follow the van and turned on his lights and sirens at Fairview Drive and Highway 50 East to stop the vehicle.
Enge allegedly drove another 2.5 miles at about 40 mph with at least three marked patrol units following before pulling over near Empire Ranch Road, said Hitch.
“He was very belligerent and slurring his speech,” said Hitch. “When I asked for his ID, he handed me two credit cards before he handed me his ID.”
“I asked him to get out of the vehicle and he stumbled and had to lean against the car for balance,” Hitch said. “I asked him where he was going and he kept saying Carson City. I asked ‘Where are you coming from,’ and he said Carson City.”
Enge allegedly failed the field sobriety tests and refused to answer whether he wanted to submit to a breathalyzer test or a blood test, said Carson City Sheriff Kenny Furlong. A blood draw was taken, the results of which won’t be available for several weeks.
Enge, 46, was booked into jail on first-offense drunken driving.
“I am going to be joining those people who do not use alcohol. It’s been a life-changing event,” said Enge. “I’m never going to take another drink and I’ll be actively seeking professional help. I’m not proud of this. I’m embarrassed.”
Enge said that today he will be seeking the counsel of a minister.
In October 2007, Enge was cited for an early morning hit-and-run involving a neighbor’s fence.
Police located Enge two hours after the incident at home after his license plate was found amid the fence debris.
He said in an interview at the time that he “must have dozed off” and he intended to contact the fence owners in the morning.
In 2005, Enge was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving in Lyon County.
A breath test indicated a blood alcohol content about three times the legal limit, but charges were dismissed after Enge revealed in court that he’d been wearing dentures, which can affect the accuracy of the tests.
He has two previous DUI convictions ” one from Pahrump Justice Court in September 1997 and another from Las Vegas Township Court in October 1997.
Enge, a former Carson High School history teacher, was elected to the school board in November 2006.