John Thyne, Santa Barbara City Council candidate and major real estate player, will appear in court later this week to answer charges that he violated the terms of his probation stemming from a DUI conviction two years ago. After police pulled Thyne over the night of May 15, 2009 for briefly flashing his high beams, he confessed to drinking two vodka tonics within the prior two hours, as well as a glass of water and a Diet Coke. Although Thyne’s blood alcohol level was well within the legal limit, the fact that there was any alcohol in his system violated the terms of his probation. In addition, it violated a new state law that went into effect this January to the same effect.
He said he has no intention of dropping out of the City Council race, but that he would stop drinking. He stressed that he’s been careful not to drive while in an “impaired condition” since his DUI. “I’ve been very upfront and honest about this,” he said. “I don’t think this should or would disqualify me, but the voters will decide.” Because of Thyne’s meteoric rise within Santa Barbara’s real estate community and his deep pockets, he’s been regarded as a highly viable council candidate despite his lack of direct political experience.