Alaska Democrats’ executive director pleads guilty to refusing booze test after DUI stop, but other criminal charges dismissed


Lindsay Kavanaugh, executive director of the Alaska Democratic Party, pleaded guilty last month to refusing to take a breathalyzer test after she was stopped last summer on suspicion of driving under the influence near Soldotna on the Kenai Peninsula in July.

She originally was charged with: Criminal Mischief 5 – Tamper W/ Property; Driving While Under The Influence – Alcohol Or Controlled Substance; and Refusing To Submit To Chemical Test.

On Dec. 13, the prosecutor requested the first two charges to be dismissed, and Kavanaugh pleaded guilty to the third charge. An order to install a device in her car that requires her to take a breath test for alcohol before the car will start was ordered by the judge. Kavanaugh’s attorney was Eric Derleth, of Kenai and Anchorage. As part of the judgment, Kavanaugh was given a $2,000 fine that was reduced to $1,485.

Troopers stopped Lindsay Kavanaugh at 1:20 am on July 2, 2022 for a moving violation south of Soldotna on the Sterling Highway. She was taken to a Trooper post for a breathalyzer, which she refused to take, and she unplugged the equipment, the report says. Must Read Alaska sources said she was also unruly; she ultimately was arrested for fifth-degree criminal mischief and remanded at the Wildwood pretrial facility in Kenai.

Kavanaugh has been the executive director of the party since 2019. She was a senior advisor to then-Sen. Mark Begich from 2009-2014, and served as an aide to the U.S. House Armed Services Committee before moving to Alaska to take over the Alaska Democratic Party post, which had been left empty after Jay Parmley left the state for career opportunities with the Democratic Party in South Carolina.

[Read: NC Democratic Party ex-staffer sues over sexual harassment]

Formerly with AK Dems, Jay Parmley back in South Carolina


    • Avenger, were she simply to smile, I’d hold the door for her! Yes, and I’d hold the door for any other women. That’s the way it is!

    • Yep. You’d be amazed at the judicial process. Over 90% of all cases do not go to trial. The charge of Refusal carries the same penalties as DUI.

      If you read AST Dispatches and then look the defendants up in Courtview you’ll see often that someone being charged with multiple crimes to include felonies plead to a reduced misdemeanor.

      Keeps the conviction rate high for DAs, moves the calendars along for the judges, and the only people who lose are the victims, the public, and youthful offenders. I say youthful offenders because they sometimes learn there is no real penalty for poor behavior.

    • Yes Avenger, Unfortunately the average citizen does routinely get this sort of break.

      Does that make it right? No it does not.

      • Wrong. This is the standard plea deal. I was a keen observer in our judicial system for over twenty years.

        Over 90% of criminal cases end with either plea deals or outright dismissals.

    • Plea agreements are par for the course. Over 90% of cases end with a plea agreement with some charges being dropped, others reduced, etc.

      Been like that for decades. The DAs get credit for a conviction and the judge gets his calendar cleared from pesky trials.

  1. The penalty for refusing to take the breathalyzer is the same as the penalty for DUI. And there is generally no defense to the charge if a person refuses. It is easier to prove than DUI.
    Lindsay K will
    Pay the price in many ways. Her insurance will sky rocket, her next similar offense will
    have her in jail for a couple weeks, her license is going to be suspended for awhile, and her reputation will suffer for a very long time. Hopefully she will get the message! It’s not worth it!

    • She should have lost her license for a year for not submitting to the examination. She is intelligent enough to know that if you don’t submit to the test, then there is no direct evidence that were driving under the influence. Yes her insurance is going to go up and she can probably get a driver, or in some cases she can get a driver’s license that is provisional so long as she only drives to and from work and errands and such like that which is basically a slap on the wrist.

  2. So what ? Using your blog as a cudgel again, I see. I’ll bet deep down you’re a very sad and lonely person, aren’t you, Sue ?

    • Actually she’s doing a service by at least introducing a forum by which citizens may learn about Alaska’s super-lenient sentencing system.

      Seriously. If one citizen learns one thing and if two people start a conversation, she’s done her job. That’s what freedom of the press is really about, information and debate about issues that concern citizens.

      So frankly, your comment said more about you than it did about her.

      • Suzanne is VERY selective in what she posts. This is an option site absent the usual journalistic standard of neutrality.

  3. Nope. Where is the mandatory 3 days in jail? Nothing in courtview shows the 72hrs of jail time. “…the court shall impose a minimum sentence of imprisonment of (A) not less than 72 CONSECUTIVE HOURS and a fine of not less than $1,500 if the person has not been previously convicted;”

    BUT there always exceptions -“(2) the court may not (A) suspend execution of the sentence required by (1) of this subsection or grant probation, except on condition that the person (i) serve the minimum imprisonment under (1) of this subsection; and (ii) pay the minimum fine required under (1) of this subsection; OR (B) suspend imposition of sentence;”

    Court discretion, a good attorney & maybe being the AK DEMOCRATS Exec. Director might have given her some special consideration? Got off this time, maybe not so lucky next time.

    • Great that you did some research, I suggest you do a little bit more.

      As much as I’d like to have something to complain about, she was not treated with deference. She received a standard plea deal.

      If you want to learn more, go read AST dispatches and then reference some of those names in Courtview. You’ll see that our DAs do not drive hard bargains and that most caes end in plea agreements; often with charges being reduced and/or dropped.

      There are also the favorites of theirs, the “susoended sentence” and unsupervised misdemeanor probation.

      Oh, and forgot to pay your fines? Well, no worries there either…you won’t be arrested, they’ll send collections after you.

      Pretty sad.

      • Yeah Alaskan DA’s are not cut from the same cloth as say Florida’s state attorneys. In Florida and other states, the law is the law. Alaska is turning into some sort of a spittoon of a state.

    • Isn’t this the same political party that wants our guns, gas stoves, vehicles if not electric, and every penny they can scrape out of tax payers pockets to bribe votes with? At the very least she should be setting the example as the head of the party and a community member. We owned bars here in Alaska and it’s an ugly business. Sadly adults like small children must be monitored around alcohol. But if you want to talk about who’s playing favourites in our small Alaska town if you’ve got the right last name or are large enough to affect tourism you get off scot free. You can over serve to the point that someone can leave your establishment and run a young mum of 4 over in front of a bar that was illegal to be open to begin with and leave her to die in the street and the driver has a 10 year sentence and all the bar owners who didn’t refuse service? Crickets. In fact you can over serve someone in the same bar a few months later that they fall asleep wake, drink more, and then walk out the door with alcoholic beverage in hand and drive oot of the lot in front of a state investigator from the alcohol board and crickets. You can over serve someone to the point that they cannot walk on their own and once dropped off by the taxi service at their home they lie on the floor and die from aspirating vomit into their lungs and again, crickets. I could go on with the horror stories but quite frankly it’s beyond the pale the way the state and local enforcement in this state decide who will be punished and who won’t for something that is literally written into state and federal laws. So yeah the bargaining down may be SOP but it shouldn’t be because if no one fears the punishment or humiliation someone else may suffer a far worse fate than 3 days in jail and a blow and go with SR22.

    • “It’s a big old club and you ain’t in it.“ As George Carlin spoke before he passed. She’s in the club. We are way past Republican/Democrat. It’s a club and oh yeah… We ain’t in it.

  4. If you look at the conviction report on the court website you’ll find she got the same deal anybody else would.

  5. So basically she has made judicial history in Alaska, by beating the DUI charge by refusing to be tested. Lawyers, make sure to keep track of this ruling. It could save your clients thousands of dollars. Because justice is administered without prejudice, right?

    • A conviction of DUI can be made strictly on manner of driving only with no other tests. Unfortunately defense attorneys are usually more aggressive, better paid and can bring up multiple arguments. The state is overwhelmed, so they deal it away. This woman can afford to pay the 10–50,000 dollars it’s going to cost her to get out of this one. Nothing but a bump in the road. Nothing to see here. Business as usual. Too bad she’s likely a miserable individual that’s the sad part. What kind of person decides to drink to excess and then drive home after midnight? Answer… Only dysfunctional ones. She got caught this time but probably done at hundreds of times prior to.

  6. It works for RINO’s too, remember Josh Revak and Kawasaki on the Road to Kenai. If it was Mike Shower or Shelley Hughes they would be sharing a cell with a bunch of Jan. 6 people.

  7. Paul Pelose suffered no ramifications for crashing his Porsche and DUI, Alec Baldwins shot a cinematographer and nothing has happened (so far), so why should this be different?

  8. I am always struck by th3 stupidity of the incomplete phrase “driving while under the influence”.
    Under the influence OF WHAT?
    Whatever happened to DWI: “Driving while intoxicated”? At least THAT phrase makes sense.

    • I saw a lady driving a car yesterday leaving the doctor’s office and she was driving under the influence. She was under the fluence of old age and shouldn’t have been behind the wheel.

    • Jefferson, And what if the driver is intoxicated? Until he/ she/ it, commits a crime, who cares? Who have they harmed? Nobody!

  9. A drunk driving democrat???? Is she related to the Kennedy klan?
    Mmmm well at least she won’t get into any trouble, you know how Scott Kawasaki avoided any penalties from the law. It’s a democrat thing you wouldn’t understand.

  10. Democrats get the best meds. A secret handshake with their doc and pharmacist. Makes them feel good during the destruction.

  11. Well, it sure seems like the Kavanaugh Clan likes their adult beverages, why it was just 4 years ago when another Kavanaugh was accused of being a Beer Guzzler as he was enduring Conformation Hearings.

    I’ll say this, back in my party days, I always hung out with the Lefty Democrats when it came to getting down and letting it rip! Republicans being guilt ridden were never as much fun to drink with, save for the Palin’s who (according to news stories) appear to enjoy downing a slug or two, followed by throwing a slug back at their fellow party participants!

    I don’t have a problem with the way this woman was treated in the Courts, in fact the comments made by “repeal the 17th” are very true. What is interesting is that the Police down on the Kenai have a habit of pulling over Democrat’s? Should I keep a Trump Sticker on my Bumper as I drive down to Homer?

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