FAIRBANKS - Four-time Iditarod and Yukon Quest champion Lance Mackey was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and refusal to submit to a chemical breath test early Sunday morning.
Fairbanks police stopped Mackey at 2:07 a.m. on Wendell Street for speeding and rapid acceleration. He was driving a 2008 Dodge Charger for which he traded the Dodge pickup he received after winning the 2008 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. The car had a personalized license plate that read REPEAT.
Another Fairbanks police officer responded and told the officer who stopped Mackey that he had seen the 43-year-old musher in Kodiak Jack’s bar earlier in the evening and he appeared to be intoxicated. The officer said Mackey was having difficulty with his balance in the bar.
The officers detected a strong odor of alcohol emanating from Mackey’s breath and said he had bloodshot, watery eyes, slurred speech and was unstable on his feet, according to charging documents.
Mackey failed field sobriety tests and registered a breath-alcohol content of 0.147 percent on a portable breath test, police said.
Mackey later refused a chemical breath test at the Fairbanks police station and was subsequently charged with refusal to submit to a chemical breath test.
A cancer survivor who won both the Yukon Quest (2005-08) and Iditarod (2007-10) four years in a row, Mackey is a favorite among Alaska mushing fans for his brash style. In 2007, he became the first musher to ever win the Quest and Iditarod in the same year.
Before the start of the 2009 Iditarod, Mackey told an Associated Press reporter that he had received three speeding tickets since trading in his pickup truck for the Dodge Charger after the 2008 Iditarod.
"I like going fast, not just on dogs," Mackey told the reporter.
Mackey was arraigned in Fairbanks Superior Court on Sunday and posted $3,000 bail. A hearing was set for July 24.
Contact staff writer Tim Mowry at 459-7587.