Navy Skipper Arrested on DUI Charge
HONOLULU (AP) _ The skipper of a Pearl Harbor-based Navy destroyer was charged with drunken driving three days before the ship left port for a six-month deployment in the Pacific.
Cmdr. Ken Auten, 40, was arrested by Honolulu police early Saturday after he crashed his car into a tree. Auten, who was alone in the car, was released on $500 bail and was at the helm of the USS Hopper when it left Pearl Harbor on Tuesday.
Depending on the severity of the crime, civilian courts have allowed sailors to postpone court appearances until after their deployments, said Capt. Greg Smith, Pacific Fleet spokesman.
The Navy will take appropriate action after the case has been presented in civilian court, he said.
Six years ago, Navy Secretary John Dalton ordered that proven cases of DUI be added to a service member’s personal folder for use in evaluations.
The 504-foot destroyer has 23 officers and 302 enlisted men and women.