Fenton is a small St. Louis suburb that rarely makes headlines. But that changed a few days ago when the mayor of the town of about 4,000 residents was involved in a hit-and-run wreck that he initially allegedly misled police officers about.

Mayor Joshua Voyles drove to his Fenton home on Dec. 16 after he was involved in a motor vehicle accident in which he struck a parked truck. He told responding officers that he had been drinking at an area bar and that a friend had given him a ride home and that another friend had driven his car home for him. Officers noted that the mayor slurred his words, his statements were disorganized and that his breath smelled of alcohol. His car was also damaged, the St. Louis County police officers noted in their report.

Though he confessed to his involvement two days later, the mayor has not been arrested and has survived calls for his ouster.

He says he made “a mistake,” but that has “owned up to it” and is “working hard to make it right.” Voyle has reportedly agreed to pay the truck’s owner for the damages.

But a Fenton alderman says that’s not enough. “I just don’t think it’s fair for anybody to have a situation like this to just walk away from it and say ‘Well, I paid some money.’ There was a hit-and-run. There was lying. There was an attempt to circumvent the law.”

While we don’t stake out political positions in our blog, it makes sense to us that people are upset with anyone who allegedly drives drunk, hits a vehicle and drives off, then lies to police: all with little or no consequences. Would people be as forgiving if this incident involved injuries? We doubt it.

Far too often drunk drivers ruin lives with their recklessness. Tolerance of a hit-and-run drunk driver who lied to police sends the wrong message.

If you or a loved one has been harmed by an impaired driver, you can send a clear message by contacting a skilled attorney experienced in personal injury litigation.