Archive for Wednesday, May 31, 2006

LHS administrator won’t face driver’s license restrictions

Sheriff’s deputy did not sign required DUI form

May 31, 2006


A Lawrence High School administrator charged with driving under the influence of alcohol is not expected to have her driver's license suspended or restricted.

"The officer didn't sign the form that's sent off to the motor vehicle department," said Mick Allen, a Lawrence attorney representing LHS Assistant Principal Jan Gentry.

Without the officer's signature, Allen said, Gentry's driving privileges are not subject to restrictions or suspension.

"Her license is unfettered in any way," he said.

The oversight, Allen said, was both unexpected and unusual.

Gentry, 53, was arrested at 10:19 p.m. May 20 on U.S. Highway 56 about one-quarter mile from the Osage County line. She was taken to the Douglas County Jail and later released on $250 bond.

On Tuesday, Allen released a statement from Gentry, in which she accepted responsibility for the incident.

Gentry's statement

Jan Gentry's lawyer, Mick Allen, released this statement Tuesday on her behalf: "I take full responsibility for any action or behavior that may ultimately reflect negatively on Lawrence High School or the Lawrence school district. It is my plan to fully cooperate with community officials and participate in a process to resolve the situation in a fair and impartial environment. "As individuals we are often faced with situations that, in retrospect, may have been better served or avoided by making alternative choices and decisions. I believe it is important to be accountable. I will respect the upcoming process and any consequences that may result."

"I will respect the upcoming process and any consequences that may result," she said.

In DUI cases, criminal charges are heard in district or municipal court, which handles fines and jail time; driver's license restrictions are handled by the state Division of Motor Vehicles.

The officer's oversight will not affect the criminal charges.

Lt. Doug Woods, a spokesman for the Douglas County Sheriff's Department, identified the arresting officer as Deputy Bryon Revell.

Woods declined comment on whether Revell neglected to sign the form.

"That would be part of the investigative report," he said. "I can't say anything about that."

Gentry was ticketed for "improper driving on a laned roadway."

Under Kansas law, a first-time DUI conviction results in a 30-day suspension of driving privileges, followed by 330 days of restricted driving.

"Suspension means no driving, period - even if you're going to the grocery store to buy milk for a baby," Allen said. "Restricted means you can only drive to and from work or classes or medical emergencies."

Usually, the 30-day suspension starts 30 days after the date of the ticket. Those charged, however, have 10 days to appeal the suspension. Gentry avoids those consequences because of the officer's oversight.

A second, third or fourth DUI conviction triggers a one-year suspension, followed by having an interlock device installed that prevents driving after drinking. The device remains in place for a year. A fifth conviction results in permanent loss of driving privileges.

Allen said his client cooperated with the deputy and willingly took the Breathalyzer test. Her blood-alcohol content exceeded 0.08 percent, the legal minimum.

"It was 0.10," he said, noting that drivers who test between 0.08 percent and 0.10 percent often do not realize they are legally intoxicated.

Gentry has a first-appearance hearing Monday afternoon in Douglas County District Court.

Gentry's driving record, Allen said, is "unblemished."

"She's not dodging anything," Allen said. "She still faces all the penalties a first-time offender faces should she be convicted."

How Gentry's arrest will affect her employment with the school district remains to be seen.

"She's not been adjudicated yet," Supt. Randy Weseman said. "I don't think it's fair for me to take a position before we know what the facts are."

Weseman said he might have a recommendation in time for the school board's June 12 meeting.

Gentry's 20-year tenure with the district includes teaching stints at LHS and South Junior High and administrative positions at West and Central junior high schools and LHS. She's been at LHS for the past seven years.


paladin 11 years, 8 months ago

Suspension is administrative and automatic upon arrest and is not dependent on conviction for the offense, only on the form the officer submits to the state during booking. A huge break was caught here. Angels were at work. In more ways than one. I hope that this is appreciated.

bankboy119 11 years, 8 months ago

Oh Enforcer get over it. You've done nothing but whine and complain about it for the last week. I'm sure it's all some huge conspiracy to fulfill a personal vendetta against you because, as we all know, the world revolves around you.

Godot 11 years, 8 months ago

Not too long ago, .10 was legal. In some states it still is.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 8 months ago

not true some dogs are just born that way just a fluke of nature. and yes one drink can make you a danger on the road but so can just about any medication you can buy otc. It was dumb of her to drink and drive but you can not hang a person for a lapse of judgement or the fact of who she is. And no she has never been a favorite of mine but she has done her job well and like in all of life should be given a chance to prove she will not let this happen again and if she does drink and drive again then you can throw the book at her, and a chair , table, kithcen sink and anything else you want.

JimmyJoeBob 11 years, 8 months ago

However .10 was not legal in Kansas a few years ago.

dozer 11 years, 8 months ago

Please Enforcer, enlighten us as to what you say we will never know about this case. Or is that just an unsupported statement?

AnglNSpurs 11 years, 8 months ago

Dozer- Of course Enforcer's statement was unsupported. Have you read his/ her previous remarks? But thanks for the post brought a smile to my face.

       I personally find it admirable that she is taking responsibility for her actions and I quote "I will respect the upcoming process and any consequences that may result."

       Often you hear about people trying to fight the conviction with every bit of legal strength they have, and still get convicted.  So she didnt get her license suspended because of an officer mistake,  there has been alot of those, even if it is the wrong date that gets thrown out.

      I think we all need to think about this article a little more, she admitted she made a mistake and is preparing to face the consequences, that shows what kind of person she is. If anything this can also teach the children she advises at LHS to take responsibility for their own actions.   It takes a strong person to admitt fault.

        Enforcer: I agree with you as far as it doesnt matter how much you drink if you are risking lives dont drive.  I wont lie, I have got a DUI, luckily I was pulled over a block away from my house, and more importantly didnt not hurt anyone or myself.  And before you ask- I was 21.  I learned my lesson the hard way, I paid the fine, did community service, and all.  Now, even if I have one, my happy butt is passing the keys.  Lets look to the positive side of this: no one was seriously injured, and while it may be humilitating,  I am sure Jan (and for that matter her children too) have learned a valuable life lesson.  But as far as "bet there is much more behind this one that the public will never know,"  No matter who the person is the law knows no politics (as wierd as that sounds). It doenst matter who you are, public status, or not.  Trust me.

Michael Birch 11 years, 7 months ago

All I can say is be glad your were arrested by some

stupid sheriff's deputy who didn't have enough sense

to fill out and sign the DC-27 which would have been

sent to the DMV. If she would have been caught by

KHP trooper (a glorified traffic officer), it would have

been fillled properly and her license would have been



GardenMomma 11 years, 7 months ago

swbsow, would you want your children to spend 6.5 hours a day with a person who had been caught and arrested for peeping if that person "recognizes that they made in error in judgement & is willing to accept the consequences."?

The fact is she blew over the legal limit for drinking and driving, the fact is the USD 497 policy for ethical conduct is as follows:

Ethical Conduct

    The administrator acknowledges that schools belong to the public and that they must provide educational opportunities to all. An administrator's actions will be scrutinized by the community, professional associates, and the students. Therefore, an administrator's professional behavior will reflect both idealistic and practical principles that are demonstrated by the following standards:

    The administrator:
  • Makes the well being of students the basis for decision- making and action;

  • Fulfills professional responsibilities with honesty and integrity;

  • Supports the principle of due process as required by law and protects the civil and human rights of all individuals;

  • Obeys local, state and national laws;

  • Implements the board's policies and rules;

  • Pursues appropriate measures to correct those laws, policies and regulations that are not consistent with sound educational goals;

  • Avoids using a position for personal gain;

  • Accepts academic degrees or professional certificates only from duly accredited institutions;

  • Seeks to improve the profession through research and continuing professional development; and

  • Honors employment contracts until fulfillment or release.

Approved: July 1, 2001 Reviewed by Board Policy Committee: February 17, 2003 Reviewed by Board Policy Committee: January 17, 2006 Amended: February 6, 2006

The appropriate parts being "an administrator's actions will be scrutinized by the community, professional associates, and the students" and "obeys local, state and national laws." It is clear to me that Ms. Gentry broke the law (.10 on a breathalyzer) and that her actions are being scrutinized.

I wonder what the difference in consequences will be if she is convicted. After all, look at what happened to the other guy who got caught peeping.

GardenMomma 11 years, 7 months ago

Oh good grief! It's spelled surname, not sir name.

Sorry, but that just bothered me.

Linda Aikins 11 years, 7 months ago

And the wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round, round and round, round and round, round and round, round and round, round and round, and the wheels on the bus go round and round till the bus goes in for repair.

trinity 11 years, 7 months ago

lol, gootsie, i just LUV you! :) your posts make me smile.

i don't have a dog in this fight-just wanted to point out, this lady will likely get a diversion, anyhoo, so...whatevs, eh?

Confrontation 11 years, 7 months ago

I think it's sad that you can have 4 DUI's before your license can be taken away permanently. That's 4 chances to kill innocent people on the road. I know they get their licenses suspended for a year before the 5th DUI, but that's not enough.

i_have_only_valid_opinions 11 years, 7 months ago

i don't agree with the meddling aspect of this whole thing. i do not support people driving drunk, but this should have run its course without interference. despite that this was Gentry's fault, the deputy made the ultimate decision (or error) to not sign the paperwork. whether it was intentional or not no one from this site should have meddled. the system is in place and it would have played out on its own. after all, the story about the deputy was already in the newspaper.

i don't just feels cheap and dirty to meddle. i think we should just stick to voicing opinions and not trying to be impromptu deputies.

i_have_only_valid_opinions 11 years, 7 months ago

confrontation: "I think it's sad that you can have 4 DUI's before your license can be taken away permanently. That's 4 chances to kill innocent people on the road. I know they get their licenses suspended for a year before the 5th DUI, but that's not enough."

i agree wholeheartedly with this comment. i don't think a person should lose their license on the first offense, because there are varying degrees to drunkeness. maybe on the second or third time, or maybe a clause that puts a high limit on the percent they blow. if they are over the high limit they lose it the first time. maybe they need to build a gray area into the law maybe between .08 and .10. after that come down especially hard on them.

conservative 11 years, 7 months ago

Maybe it's because I've never been pulled over for driving under the influence, but I don't understand the argument that the deputy might not have used the equipment properly simply because he forgot to sign a form. Isn't all that is required to use it properly to have someone blow into it?

geekin_topekan 11 years, 7 months ago

I know someone who was arrested for DWI released on his own recognizance and went and blew the whole thing off.He never went to court,no warrant,no suspension,no fine,nada.Like it never happened. He is warrant-free and has a valid Ks license today. This was in the days of rubber stamps and paper.Still.He slipped right through the cracks.

i_have_only_valid_opinions 11 years, 7 months ago


i don't know anything about gentry other than what i've read over the past 2 weeks, but it seems like she is a good person that made a poor decision and she will pay her dues for it. i think she got very lucky (at least for now) to have this signature slip through the cracks, but she isn't going to get off scott free.

the way i look at justice in this situation is that even if she doesn't have her license taken away, she has to go through this publicly with much more shame than the general public would have to go through under similar circumstances. even if she gets diversion and is allowed to keep her job, she will have to work extra hard to prove herself worthy again. she's already being punished in ways we never would be. let her keep her damn license and don't be a nark.

petunia 11 years, 7 months ago

The all-knowing Marion - what leads you to believe Ms. Gentry wouldn't be eligible for diversion? Have you checked her criminal history? I for one don't know what it contains, but I am pretty sure a completed diversion = dismissal of charges.

BTW, funny that you would call out her attorney and his "dream" when he was good enough for you to seek his services...

sanders 11 years, 7 months ago

The 'curb side' breath test you all keep mentioning would be a preliminary breath test (PBT).... the results of which are not admissible into court. She would have been charged (and her BAC determined) based on the results of an Intoxylizer machine, used at the jail.

paladin 11 years, 7 months ago

The small people are hopping about like ticks on a griddle. Cheap and dirty is, no doubt, SOP for small people. That's how small people get revenge on whoever they perceive to be to blame, at the moment, for their miserable lots in their miserable lives. Tomorrow it will be someone else. Its like the tick on the old yellow dog's rearend. It blames the dog that its a tick, regardless of its getting a free ride and some chow.

i_have_only_valid_opinions 11 years, 7 months ago

paladin: are you referring to everyone who has taken part in this post or those who have meddled?

sanders 11 years, 7 months ago

The breathalyzer is a generic term for the machine, which is an Intoxylizer 5000.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 7 months ago

well no matter what we all think should be done or could have been done and all else included in these post the fact of the matter is it makes no difference. as for laspe of judgement, to get in her car ok. but as i said before you drive impaired just by taking meds. for a headache or cold so think on that.

sanders 11 years, 7 months ago

I retreact my early post after looking at the website... what they show on the website is the same as the PBT. See the intox. website for info.

petunia 11 years, 7 months ago


Answer the question: Is there something in Ms. Gentry's background to prevent a diversion? You were the one who suspected diversion was not an option. Why not?

I do not know Mr. Allen but I am sure he is a fine lawyer. Perhaps he could further serve your needs by helping you regain entry to the Pig. Why were you expelled again?

Oink, Oink...

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 7 months ago

well all i know is the courts will do what they think is their best job and that is that. swbsow to true on blood sugers, nasty stuff diabetes and the high and low can happen real fast mostly sugar lows.

allateup 11 years, 7 months ago

It happens to the best of us. I know for a fact that someone can pass a field sobriety test and not the breathelyzer test conducted on the scene by the officer. Just find that fact interesting.

Linda Aikins 11 years, 7 months ago

Glad to see you carried your spats onto this post. The other was over 400 and needed to be retired.

Carry on!

Steve Jacob 11 years, 7 months ago

She got lucky, and one policeman should at least get a nice little warning. What if he did this and the driver have a 100 pounds of weed in the car? Whould he have been let go?

happyone 11 years, 7 months ago

Enforcer -- I have read your rants over the last several days and have just one question for you: What if the shoe were on the other foot and you were sitting in Ms. Gentry's place now??

Also, LJW does give you an opportunity to check for errors maybe you should use it. You would not look so silly.

paladin 11 years, 7 months ago

There are allot of people out there who are not "what if the shoe were on the other foot " kind of people. These are the small people. These are the evil people, who do much harm and never attain what they blindly seek. Love, acceptance, and validation can never be attained when the seeker hates him/herself.

paladin 11 years, 7 months ago

And their lives are full of untruths and misdirection and anger and blaming and hurting. False consciousness, bad faith.

Godot 11 years, 7 months ago

Enforcer wrote: "I wouldn't have risked it the eve of graduation, but then I don't drive drunk. But just for the fun of it, if I were in charge of the schools drug programs and commited the same act, I would resign."

Fortunately, you are not.

trinity 11 years, 7 months ago


there goes MY brekkie. i'm not real sure if it's the coweyes going on-or the absolutely hideous spelling by these lil' lovebirds. yikes.

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