Florida GOP lawmaker ready to put Taco Bell drunk driving arrest behind him after plea deal
A Republican lawmaker in Florida who was arrested for drunk driving has been sentenced to six months of probation and 100 hours of community service after pleading no contest to reckless driving.
State Rep. Dane Eagle, 31, was arrested or driving under the influence in April after stopping at a Taco Bell drive-thru.
Tallahassee police said Eagle rolled over curbs, drove ten miles over the speed limit, and ran a red light at around 2 a.m. in the morning after leaving the Taco Bell location. Officers said his breath and vehicle smelled of alcohol.
But Eagle denied drinking and refused to take a field sobriety test.
In a plea deal agreed upon Thursday, the lawmaker admitted to a lesser charge of reckless driving. In addition to probation and community service, Eagle also agreed to be subjected to random alcohol tests.
Eagle automatically lost his license for a year because he declined to take the Breathalyzer test, according to the News Press, but he is still allowed to drive for work.
“First, I want to again apologize to my constituents, family, and friends for the embarrassment this whole ordeal has caused. Today, I am very pleased to let you know that we can finally put this entire matter behind us,” Eagle said in a statement.
“As I have maintained throughout, I did not drive under the influence. I did, however, exercise poor judgment that night, and in my carelessness I drove recklessly. The prosecutor agreed that reckless driving is the appropriate resolution, and the court has accepted that agreement. I take full responsibility for my actions and accept the penalties for the reckless driving sanction I have been issued.”
“I sincerely appreciate the steadfast support I have received,” Eagle concluded. “I am relieved to have the incident behind me and remain committed to effectively representing the citizens of District 77.”
Watch video, courtesy of NBC 2, below.
[Florida state Rep. Dane Eagle via Facebook]