Report: Ravenel failed several sobriety tests during DUI stop

Report: Ravenel failed several sobriety tests during DUI stop

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - More details have been released from the arrest of former state treasurer Thomas Ravenel, accused of driving drunk in East Hampton, New York.

According to a East Hampton Police Department report, an officer saw Ravenel swerving across lane lines and driving on the shoulder of the Montauk Highway around 2:30 a.m. Monday.

The report states Ravenel "smelled strongly of an odor of an alcoholic beverage," and had red and glassy eyes.  The report also states Ravenel failed several sobriety tests, and was unsteady on his feet.

He was taken to headquarters, where police say he refused to take a breathalyzer test.

Ravenel's bond was set at $650.  Ravenel's attorney told the judge his client was in East Hampton playing polo.

The former treasurer resigned from office in 2007 and served time in federal prison for cocaine possession. He's been considering a run for U.S. Senate and is doing a reality TV show for the Bravo network.

FITS News, a blog that covers South Carolina politics, among other things, posted a statement attributed to Thomas Ravenel on their website Tuesday.

It reads:

While I have never believed recreational drug use within one's home to be something worthy of criminalization, when I was arrested on this charge in 2007 I was a statewide elected official.  As such, I should have exercised better judgement, which is why I apologized to the people of my state for letting them down.  But I then did something few politicians ever do - I took responsibility for my actions and I paid my debt to society.

When I'm wrong I admit it - and make it right.  That's what Thomas Ravenel does.

In this situation, however, I emphatically reject the allegations of intoxication and erratic driving.  As I told the arresting officer - who I respect for doing his job - I had a beer at the club and a glass of wine prior to that at dinner.  I was not drunk, and I look forward to making my case in court.

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