Cam Ward pleads guilty to DUI charge

Published 11:40 am Wednesday, September 9, 2015

State Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, speaks with media outside Alabaster City Hall after pleading guilty to a drunken driving charge on Sept. 9. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

State Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, speaks with media outside Alabaster City Hall after admitting guilt to a drunken driving charge on Sept. 9. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – State Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, will pay a $2,400 fine, will have an ignition interlock device placed in his vehicle and must submit to random drug and alcohol screenings for the next six months after he pleaded guilty to a drunken driving charge on Sept. 9.

Ward pleaded guilty to the charge in front of Alabaster Municipal Court Judge Joseph Walden at Alabaster City Hall.

“Nobody likes to be in this position, but it 110 percent was my fault to put myself in this spot and to put others in danger. I regret it greatly,” Ward said during an interview after he was sentenced. “I am looking forward to moving on with a healthier chapter in my life, which I think I am well on the road to. I’ll gladly accept the punishment, which was deserving.”

In addition to the fine, ignition interlock device and drug and alcohol screenings, Ward also must complete a defensive driving course and complete 48 hours of community service.

An ignition interlock device requires a driver to exhale into the device before they can start their vehicle. If the driver has alcohol present in their breath, the vehicle will not start.

Alabaster city prosecutor Jeff Brumlow said the $2,400 will cover court costs, the cost of the ignition interlock device and the cost of the pre-trial diversion program.

If Ward completes the requirements laid out in the diversion program, the drunken driving charge will be dropped. Brumlow said Ward will have the same requirements as any person who is accepted into the pre-trial diversion program.

“It was basically their standard pre-trial program for first-time offenders,” Ward said. “I’m more than willing to accept responsibility and take that punishment and move forward. Nobody is above the law, and I certainly don’t want to ever hold myself above it.”

Ward’s attorney, Josh Arnold, declined to comment following the sentencing.

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.

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.

Immediately after the sentencing, Ward drove to Montgomery to take part in the second day of the Alabama Legislature’s special session.

“It’s something I didn’t want to take time away from the session to do, but it was necessary,” he said. “It’s not something I’m very proud of at all, but I think moving ahead, hopefully I can learn from my mistakes and be a better legislator and a better person and a better father.”