George W. Bush’s Wild Days: DUI Details Finally Spilled By James Newcombe

George W. Bush isn’t exactly the first person you think of as the “party president.” That title is maybe more likely to go to Bill Clinton, often called “Slick Willy” in the media, or President Barack Obama, who freely admitted to smoking marijuana and using “a little blow” in college. But Bush, not to be outdone, does have a skeleton or two in the closet as well. A friend of his from the time, Australian tennis pro John Newcombe, is now revealing a few of those details — including some extra information about the DUI arrest that threatened to sink George W.’s campaign for president in 2000 just days before the election.

John made a swift getaway from the media when the story broke, but as nearly a full presidency lies between the end of Bush’s, and now Newcombe has come forward with some details. The tennis pro says that an escalating drinking game is what got George W. a DUI that day during Labor Day weekend in 1976, reported The Telegraph. Bush, 30-years-old at the time, was reportedly a heavy drinker.

“We went to the local pub [and began to drink] reasonable-sized mugs of beer… George was a bit of a party boy in those days… I noticed that George was sort of eyeing me off. I put on a bit of pace and he’d keep pace with me. A little silent game was going on… After about four of these, I picked the glass up in my teeth without my hands and skulled it straight down and I said, ‘What are you made of, George?’ And so he had to do that.”

George W. Bush DUI James Newcombe
Tennis pro James Newcombe.

Newcombe says that after the drink-off with Bush, his wife Angie offered to drive the two drunk men home. However, George W. insisted that we wanted to get behind the wheel. Three miles down the road, Bush saw the red-and-blue blinking of police lights.

“The cop got out of the car and made him walk the line and back and he kind of did it alright but he was a bit cheeky when he was doing it… The cop was writing him a ticket and then Peter Roussel got out of the car, and went over to the cop and was telling him he was George Bush’s son, and the cop, his name was Calvin, goes ‘Oh my God, I’ve just booked the son of the director of the CIA, I’m in real trouble.'”

However, the police officer couldn’t exactly just burn the ticket. George W. Bush was fined $150 for the offense, though The Telegraph says that he continued to drink until his 40th birthday.

[Image via Spoonful Blog, Sports Now and Then]

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