Secret Service Tightens Booze Rules—Slightly

Supervisor demoted after multiple incidents

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 9, 2014 10:12 AM CDT

(Newser) – Between suspected drinking and driving and passing out in a hallway, Secret Service agents haven't been exhibiting model behavior recently. Now, some in the service are paying the price. The head of the key special operations division has been demoted, insiders tell the Washington Post, while some two dozen staffers have been reassigned. Members of the division are no longer allowed to drink alcohol less than 12 hours before work, up slightly from 10 hours; they also can't drink for 24 hours ahead of the president's arrival at a trip destination.

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson "maintains a zero-tolerance policy regarding incidents of misconduct and continues to evaluate the best human-capital practices and policies for the workforce," says a rep for the agency. But new rules might not be enough to deter the agents from bad behavior, worries Sen. Ron Johnson; after all, they're not allowed to visit prostitutes, but that didn't stop an earlier scandal. It's time for "an accurate assessment of how prevalent this conduct is," Johnson tells the Post.

The US flag flies outside Hotel Huis ter Duin, where a Secret Service agent was found drunk in the western Netherlands, Wednesday, March 26, 2014.
The US flag flies outside Hotel Huis ter Duin, where a Secret Service agent was found drunk in the western Netherlands, Wednesday, March 26, 2014.   (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Secret Service agents watch the perimeter of a farm by an irrigation system as President Barack Obama tours a local farm in Los Banos, Calif., Friday, Feb. 14, 2014.
Secret Service agents watch the perimeter of a farm by an irrigation system as President Barack Obama tours a local farm in Los Banos, Calif., Friday, Feb. 14, 2014.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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