Saturday, April 20, 2002

GOP state senator Nugent is arrested on DUI charge

The Associated Press

        VERSAILLES, Ind. — Republican state Sen. Johnny Nugent of Lawrenceburg was arrested on a drunken driving charge Thursday night.

        An Indiana state trooper pulled Mr. Nugent over at about 10:40 p.m. along Interstate 74 in Ripley County after police received a complaint about someone driving erratically, Indiana State Police Sgt. Scott Beamon said Friday.

        Mr. Nugent said his blood-alcohol level registered at 0.13 percent in a test. The legal limit in Indiana is 0.08 percent. He was released after paying $500 bail and is scheduled for an initial court hearing April 29 in Ripley County.

        “I make no excuses,” Mr. Nugent said. “I'm human, I made an error in judgment of my limits and I apologize for it. I feel bad that it happened.”

        Mr. Nugent said he drove to the Statehouse in Indianapolis on Thursday to file his campaign finance report and later had dinner with some people at a downtown restaurant. He said he had some wine with dinner and when he walked to his car at the Statehouse afterward he felt fine.

        “I didn't really drink any more wine at dinner than regularly,” Mr. Nugent said. “Some of the concern is with how it affected me. I do take some medication and it could be that it made it more active.”

        “I learned a lot from it because now I know that I certainly won't be driving a vehicle again after having alcoholic beverages at dinner.”

        Mr. Nugent, 62, was first elected in 1978 and is up for re-election this year. He does not face a primary opponent on May 7 and no Democrat filed for the primary either. Democrats can slate a candidate to run against him in the general election in November, however.

        Mr. Nugent represents Senate District 43, which includes all or parts of Dearborn, Ohio, Ripley, Union, Franklin, Jefferson, Jennings and Switzerland counties.


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