Alabama Senator Arrested for DUI
Alabama, unlike Georgia, offers a pre-trial diversion program for DUI offenders. The newest participant in the program is Senator Cam Ward, R-Alabaster. Last week, Ward admitted his guilt to a DUI charge from early July.
According to police reports, Senator Ward was arrested after police received calls of a possible drunk driver on Highway 119 just before 1 p.m. An officer with the Alabaster police spotted the suspected vehicle and pulled it over. The driver, later identified as Ward, failed field sobriety tests and was placed under arrest.
Ward, along with his attorney, appeared in court Wednesday to answer to his charges. After court, Ward told reporters that he does not dispute the charges that were leveled against him. He also said that he faced a variety of penalties.
As part of the pre-trial diversion program, Ward will pay a $2,400 fine, participate in a defensive driving course, submit to random alcohol and drug testing, complete 48 hours of community service, and have an ignition interlock device installed in his vehicle. Ward was quick to point out that he had received no special treatment and that he was offered the same program as other first-time offenders.
“Nobody likes to be in this position, but it 110% was my fault to put myself in this spot and to put others in danger. I regret it greatly,” Ward told the press outside of the courtroom.
Although Ward told reporters that he pled guilty, that is not exactly true. Ward admitted guilt in order to enter the diversion program, but did not enter an official plea of guilty. Should Ward fail to complete the program, he will be found guilty of DUI and face further penalties. The city prosecutor also pointed out that, due to the level of alcohol in Ward’s system, he would be subjected to nine months of drug and alcohol testing rather than the typical six months.
Ward returned to work immediately following court, heading to Montgomery for a committee meeting.