Retired CHP officer convicted of DUI: 'Learn from my mistake'

REDDING, Calif. - Retired California Highway Patrol officer and spokesperson Monty Hight was convicted of driving under the influence last May and is now speaking out about his poor decision in hope that no one makes the same mistake.

Hight said he worked as a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol for 30 years. After he retired he worked part-time for the Redding Police Department as a public information officer for the Avoid the Six anti-drunk driving campaign.

And last May while Hight was out with some friends, he said he made a big mistake. After drinking two long island ice teas he drove off in his motorcycle.

"I justified it in my own mind that I'm gonna be fine," said Hight.

He said he got on the road and ended up hitting a car on Hilltop Drive.

"Boom! I'm down," Hight said. "I had no idea how I got knocked down or what happened."

When Redding police arrived at the scene, Hight had told them he had been drinking.

"I can't argue with them because I absolutely know and I was on the other side of the arrest and heard every excuse there was," he said.

His blood alcohol level was 0.15, nearly twice the legal limit. Hight broke four ribs and was taken to the hospital. He was charged with DUI and was placed on three years of unsupervised probation. He was also ordered to serve one day of community service.

"I just hate bringing discredit upon that agency or Redding Police Department or anyone that I've ever worked with because they have never in any way encouraged any type of behavior like I exhibited on that particular day," Hight said.

He said the worst part of all of it was telling his children.

"Probably the most embarrassing thing was making that phone call to my two sons and trying to be a role model and set an example and having to call them and tell them, this is what happened and ... that was really difficult to do."

Hight said he will always be embarrassed of his poor choices that led to his arrest. But hopes that his story will be used as an example of the dangers of driving under the influence and the consequences that come with it.

"The minute that you have to stop and thinking, 'Am I gonna be OK ?' because you've had that other extra drink or whatever it is. That's the minute you just have to stop and think, 'You know what? I'm gonna do the right thing and have someone pick me up.'"

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