An expanding scandal over drunkenness or tawdry behavior among Secret Service officers traveling with President Obama prompted intense scrutiny of a traffic accident in the Florida Keys this month involving two of the agency's men, reports McClatchy Newspapers. The agents, both counter-sniper officers, wrecked their rental car after pulling it out of a grocery store parking lot into the path of a fully loaded grocery truck at 2 a.m. on March 7. A highway patrol officer detected “a slight odor of alcohol” on the agent driving the car. After “no detection of impairment was observed” during a sobriety test, the trooper decided not to give him a breathalyzer or blood test, just a ticket for failure to yield the right of way.
The wreck occurred 12 hours before President Obama arrived in South Florida. News of the accident and the tension it created inside the Secret Service, still unsettled after 2012 incidents with prostitutes and booze in Cartagena, Colombia, triggered the removal of 10 agents, didn't leak out until a report in the Washington Post yesterday. The new reports of Secret Service misadventures prompted growing concern among congressional overseers of the agency after a “no tolerance” policy on partying was declared by Secret Service director Julia Pierson.