The article you just read was brought to you by a few thousand dedicated readers. Will you join them?

Thanks for coming by The Tyee and reading one of many original articles we’ll post today. Our team works hard to publish in-depth stories on topics that matter on a daily basis. Our motto is: No junk. Just good journalism.

Just as we care about the quality of our reporting, we care about making our stories accessible to all who want to read them and provide a pleasant reading experience. No intrusive ads to distract you. No paywall locking you out of an article you want to read. No clickbait to trick you into reading a sensational article.

There’s a reason why our site is unique and why we don’t have to rely on those tactics — our Tyee Builders program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip in a bit of money each month (or one-time) to our editorial budget. This amazing program allows us to pay our writers fairly, keep our focus on quality over quantity of articles, and provide a pleasant reading experience for those who visit our site.

In the past year, we’ve been able to double our staff team and boost our reporting. We invest all of the revenue we receive into producing more and better journalism. We want to keep growing, but we need your support to do it.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
Before you click away, we have something to ask you…

Do you value independent journalism that focuses on the issues that matter? Do you think Canada needs more in-depth, fact-based reporting? So do we. If you’d like to be part of the solution, we’d love it if you joined us in working on it.

The Tyee is an independent, paywall-free, reader-funded publication. While many other newsrooms are getting smaller or shutting down altogether, we’re bucking the trend and growing, while still keeping our articles free and open for everyone to read.

The reason why we’re able to grow and do more, and focus on quality reporting, is because our readers support us in doing that. Over 5,000 Tyee readers chip in to fund our newsroom on a monthly basis, and that supports our rockstar team of dedicated journalists.

Join a community of people who are helping to build a better journalism ecosystem. You pick the amount you’d like to contribute on a monthly basis, and you can cancel any time.

Help us make Canadian media better by joining Tyee Builders today.
We value: Our readers.
Our independence. Our region.
The power of real journalism.
We're reader supported.
Get our newsletter free.
Help pay for our reporting.
Life

The Premier Who Drove Plastered in Paradise

Gordon Campbell went in the tank. Latest in our 'Some Honourable Members' series.

By Tom Hawthorn 23 Apr 2013 | TheTyee.ca

Veteran political reporter Tom Hawthorn is writing about B.C. political history for The Tyee. Find his previous stories here.

image atom
Illustration by Jessie Donaldson.

[Editor's note: This is the sixth in our "Some Honourable Members" series, depicting the more dubious moments in B.C.'s political history, brought to you by veteran muckrakers Tom Barrett and Tom Hawthorn, one a day until election day.]

The rental car lurched across the double solid white centre lines on the two-lane Honoapiilani Highway on Maui.

The car swerved across a bike lane and it raced along at 70 miles per hour past signs indicating a 45 mph limit.

After the car sped away from a red light, a patrol officer officer pulled it over. He noted a strong smell of alcohol. The 54-year-old driver had oily skin and bloodshot eyes. The driver explained he was tired and trying to get home. It was 1:13 a.m. on Jan. 10, 2003, and a traffic stop would soon find its way to the headlines.

After failing a field sobriety test, the driver was taken to the main police station in Wailuku. He smiled stupidly for a mug shot. A test indicated he had a blood alcohol level of 0.149, well above the state limit of 0.08.

The driver, Gordon Muir Campbell, issued identifying number 03-02659 by Maui police, would spend the night in the drunk tank, where, according to a story quashed by Vancouver Sun editors, he began to sleep off his night's festivities so close to the toilet that a fellow inmate took pity and woke him up.

Campbell would ultimately plead no contest to the charges he faced for speeding and erratic driving. Luckily for him, drunk driving in Hawaii is regarded as a less serious crime than it is in British Columbia. A misdemeanour there, a criminal offence here. The premier was fined $913 U.S. (about $1,350 CDN). He was evaluated for alcoholism, underwent a 14-hour substance abuse program, and lost his driving privileges for 90 days.

"Mr. Campbell is sufficiently embarrassed and ashamed for what he did," said the judge, "as well he should be."

Only two years after winning a historic, landslide victory, including 77 of 79 seats, Campbell's political career seemed at the brink of failure. He returned home, where he salvaged his premiership with a bravura performance at a nationally-televised media conference at which his wife, Nancy, stood dutifully by his side. It was his 55th birthday.

Campbell was asked by a reporter why he had smiled for his police mug shot.

"I don't believe I was smiling," he responded.

Judge for yourself.

Campbell claimed to have had three martinis and some wine, though experts noted it would take a lot more alcohol than that to register a 0.149.

"I had way too much to drink," he finally admitted.

Campbell pledged to stop drinking. The incident was all the more painful for his family, as Campbell's father, a physician and an alcoholic, committed suicide when the boy was 13.

Campbell ignored demands to resign, hanging on to power for another eight years -- and more scandals to come.  [Tyee]

Read more: BC Politics

Share this article

The Tyee is supported by readers like you

Join us and grow independent media in Canada

Facts matter. Get The Tyee's in-depth journalism delivered to your inbox for free

LATEST STORIES

The Barometer

Tyee Poll: What Coverage Would You Like to See More of This Year?

Take this week's poll