Arcata City Councilmember and Third District supervisorial candidate Mark Wheetley was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence Thursday night near the Samoa Bridge.
California Highway Patrol Officer Cy May said Wheetley was traveling southbound when an officer pulled him over for speeding on State Route 255 near New Navy Base Road. May said the officer’s report indicated Wheetley was alone in the car, traveling an estimated 65 mph, about 10 miles per hour over the posted speed limit.
“The officer contacted Mr. Wheetley, observed signs and symptoms of intoxication and conducted a DUI investigation,” May said.
Wheetley was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and of driving with a blood-alcohol level over the legal limit of .08. A Journal
phone message left for Wheetley this morning has not been returned.
A senior biologist specialist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wheetley has been on the Arcata City Council since 2005, having served as the city’s mayor in 2008, 2009 and 2014. He recently announced his bid for the seat representing Arcata and the rest of the Third District on the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, a seat being vacated by Mark Lovelace, who has announced that he will not seek reelection.
Humboldt County consistently has one of the highest rates of drug and alcohol related injury car crashes in the state. In 2013, the last year for which complete statistics are available, Humboldt ranked as the fourth most dangerous of California’s 58 counties for DUI injury collisions. Last year, according to the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office, at least 19 of Humboldt County’s 28 vehicle fatalities were drug or alcohol related.