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Lyman School District principal, athletic director pleads guilty to DUI

Michael Uthe, high school and middle school principal, was arrested in the early morning of June 17 in Meade County after traveling on Interstate 90 east of Sturgis.

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PRESHO -- An administrator at the Lyman School District in central South Dakota has pleaded guilty to first-offense DUI.

Michael Uthe, high school and middle school principal, was arrested in the early morning of June 17 in Meade County after traveling on Interstate 90 east of Sturgis. He pleaded guilty to the charge on Sept. 27 and was sentenced to a suspended 30-day jail sentence.

Uthe, 31, of Presho, is also the athletic director for Lyman School District and an assistant athletic coach.

According to a police report, a citizen called at 2:49 a.m. to report a vehicle all over the road and had nearly hit a guardrail. When officers caught up to the reported vehicle, it had pulled into a parking lot. After an officer activated emergency lights and approached, a single male occupant “was startled by my presence and did not notice my vehicle or flashing lights,” the report says.

The officer smelled alcohol and the driver, Uthe, was confused. He was later put into the officer’s vehicle but denied drinking alcohol.

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Uthe, the police report says, failed field sobriety tests and later refused a personalized breath test. The officer brought Uthe to Meade County Jail and obtained a search warrant for a blood draw. Three hours after being pulled over, Uthe’s preliminary breath test showed .103 percent.

In addition to the suspended jail sentence, Uthe was sentenced to pay all fines, court costs and fees, enroll and attend DUI classes and he received probation.

Matt Collins, Lyman School Board president, acknowledged Thursday he is aware of the situation but would not comment on the matter.

Superintendent Chris Long could not immediately be reached for comment.

— The Mitchell Republic does not report on all driving under the influence charges and convictions. Because this case involves a public school administrator and coach, we felt the case is necessary to report.

Related Topics: CRIME AND COURTS
Luke Hagen was promoted to editor of the Mitchell Republic in 2014. He has worked for the newspaper since 2008 and has covered sports, outdoors, education, features and breaking news. He can be reached at lhagen@mitchellrepublic.com.
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