Judge: Cam Ward can keep driver’s license pending resolution of DUI case

Published 3:57 pm Wednesday, August 12, 2015

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – An Alabaster state senator who is facing a drunken driving charge will be able to keep his drivers’ license while awaiting the resolution of his case, a Shelby County Circuit Court judge has ruled.



On Aug. 12, Judge Hewitt “Sonny” Conwill granted a stay of state Sen. Cam Ward’s driver’s license revocation after Ward’s attorney filed a civil complaint in Circuit Court opposing the license revocation.

The Alabaster Police Department arrested Ward and charged him with one count of driving under the influence of alcohol shortly before 1 p.m. on July 1 after the department received a report of a potentially drunken driver on Alabama 119, according to Alabaster Police Chief Curtis Rigney.

After the arrest, the Alabama Department of Public Safety sent Ward a letter notifying him his license would be suspended for 90 days beginning on Aug. 15.

In the complaint, Ward’s attorney with the Ellis, Head, Owens and Justice law firm in Columbiana, claimed the pending driver’s license revocation was a “premature administrative action” and claimed Ward would be “denied due process under the laws of the state of Alabama and the United States Constitution” if his driver’s license was revoked. The complaint also claimed the pending revocation “was an unwarranted penalty without any adjudication as required by law.”

In his order issued the same day Ward’s complaint was filed, Conwill delayed the license revocation “pending full hearing and rendition of final order in this case.”

Ward originally was scheduled to appear in Alabaster Municipal Court on Aug. 12 on the drunken driving charge, but his court date was continued until Sept. 9 at the request of his attorney.

During a press conference the day after Ward was arrested, Rigney said the officer pulled Ward over at Warrior Park on Thompson Road and said Ward “exhibited signs of intoxication.” The officer then performed several field sobriety tests on Ward, which he failed, Rigney said.

Ward was then placed under arrest on the DUI charge and transported to the Alabaster Police Department jail. He was later transported to the Shelby County Jail with a $1,000 bond. He was transported back to the Alabaster jail early on July 2, where he was released on bond at 5:21 a.m.

Shortly after he was released from jail, Ward issued a public apology and said he planned to seek professional assistance to combat his alcohol problems.

On July 27, Ward said he had enrolled in substance abuse counseling, and said he was “getting better every day.”

Ward, R-Alabaster, has been serving District 14 in the Alabama Senate since 2010. Before he was elected to the Senate seat, Ward served two terms in the Alabama House of Representatives.