COLUMBUS, OH (FOX19) - A state lawmaker from Cincinnati pleaded guilty to having physical control of a vehicle while under the influence following his arrest in Columbus early Friday morning.
State Rep. Sedrick Denson (D-Bond Hill) was initially charged with OVI, but it was reduced.
His charge for driving on a suspended license was dropped, but a felony drug possession charge is still pending.
Denson’s license is suspended for 180 days, but can drive to work. He also has to pay a $250 fine by May 31.
The drug charge stems from one Adderral pill in a plastic bag being found in Denson’s car, the criminal complaint shows.
A trooper pulled his vehicle over at 2:48 a.m. on Interstate 670 after the trooper observed his black Chevrolet traveling outside white lane lines, the initial incident report states.
Denson, 31, told the trooper he drank two glasses of chardonnay at a fundraiser about 5:30 p.m. Thursday, according to dash cam video FOX19 NOW obtained from the Ohio State Highway Patrol through a public records request.
“Where are you headed in a hurry," the trooper said, according to the video.
“Not in a hurry. I am a state representative here," Denson responded.
“How much alcohol have you drank tonight?" the trooper asked.
Denson said: “Earlier, back at about, we had an event at 5:30 and I had two glasses of wine."
“Wine. What kind of wine?" the trooper asked. Chardonnay," Denson responded.
"Are you thinking I'm intoxicated or something?" Denson asked.
"You're definitely intoxicated, bud," the trooper replied. "We're gonna figure out how intoxicated you are. So, we've got to do field sobriety. We've got to do it for everybody."
Denson released a statement Monday saying he “made an error in judgment.”
Here it is in its entirety:
“While working in Columbus last week, I made an error in judgment. I decided to drive at night after drinking earlier in the evening. Though I believe I wasn’t impaired, I regret not using greater caution under the circumstances.
I was pulled over by a State Highway Patrolman for either speeding or for a lane change violation. I performed several tests during the traffic stop at the Trooper’s direction. Although I felt that I was not impaired, I was arrested for driving my car while under the influence. I regret refusing further testing that would have established that I was not impaired.
The Trooper discovered a single prescription pill that he believed to be Adderall during a search of my car. I am not prescribed and do not use this medicine. The fact that it was in my vehicle is concerning and very serious.
I am confident that the court process will result in a conclusion that supports these facts. But more than anything, I want to apologize and express my regret to people who feel disappointed by my actions. I share their disappointment. This error in judgment will offer me an opportunity to learn and grow. I want to thank everyone who has supported me or expressed their concern throughout this experience.”