BERKELEY -- A Berkeley schoolteacher ¿was charged with LSD possession and drunken driving after a traffic stop in San Rafael, authorities said.
Douglas Gray Haight, 51, is scheduled to be arraigned next Wednesday on two felony charges -- possessing LSD and bringing it into the Marin County Jail -- and a misdemeanor DUI charge, the district attorney's office said.
Haight, an independent study teacher at an off-campus facility affiliated with Berkeley High School, is on paid administrative leave, said school district spokesman Mark Coplan. School officials said further disciplinary action could include a reprimand, suspension without pay or termination, depending on the outcome of their investigation. None of the officials contacted for this story said they could remember an instance where a teacher was charged with felony drug possession in the last 10 or 15 years.
Haight, whose single-subject teaching credential expires Jan. 1, may have his credential "immediately suspended" by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing or by the Committee of Credentials, said Erin Sullivan, a spokeswoman for the commission. If he is convicted the commission could revoke his credentials.
The case began on Dec. 1, when San Rafael police stopped a Toyota Camry that went through a red light on Bellam Boulevard, according to police reports. The driver, identified as Haight, showed signs of intoxication, and police conducted preliminary alcohol
Breath tests recorded blood-alcohol readings of .13 percent and .12 percent, above the .08 percent legal limit for driving, police said. He told police he had just left the Terrapin Crossroads restaurant and bar on Yacht Club Drive, said police spokeswoman Margo Rohrbacher.
When police booked him at the county jail, Haight turned in his belongings for storage, including a bottle of breath mint that was in his pants pocket. A jail deputy suspected it might contain drugs, and the liquid tested positive for the hallucinogen LSD, police said.
Haight was later released on bail pending further review by prosecutors.
John Selawsky, who recently stepped down from the Berkeley school board after 12 years, said he had never heard of a teacher being charged with possession of LSD.
"We've had people accused of things, but I don't recall LSD," Selawsky said. "Everybody has due process, and he has rights, so you have to take this one step at a time."
Haight, reached by telephone Tuesday, said he made "a mistake," but declined further comment. His lawyer, Derek St. Pierre, declined to comment.
Haight was hired by the school district in August as a full-time teacher, according to a published school board agenda for the Berkeley Unified School District. The temporary post was budgeted to run through June 14.
Haight previously worked for the Chico Unified School District.