Thursday, February 15, 2001

Senator charged with DUI




The Associated Press

        FRANKFORT — A state senator who voted in favor of a bill to lower the legal blood-alcohol limit for driving was arrested last week by Frankfort police and charged with DUI, police records show.

        At the time of his arrest, Sen. Joey Pendleton of Hopkinsville had a blood-alcohol level of 0.20, or more than twice what is considered legally drunk, police records said.

        Mr. Pendleton, 54, a Democrat, was stopped by a Frankfort police officer Thursday night after, the officer said, he saw Mr. Pendleton driving erratically.

        In Kentucky, a driver is considered legally drunk with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08. It was lowered from 0.10 by the General Assembly last year.

        Mr. Pendleton voted for the bill but was not considered a staunch supporter. During a taping of a television program in January 2000, he said he favored a law that created graduated penalties for drunken driving, suggesting fines be higher for drivers whose blood-alcohol content is higher.

        Mr. Pendleton's arrest was reported Wednesday in his hometown newspaper, the Kentucky New Era of Hopkinsville.

        Mr. Pendleton declined comment to the Associated Press on Wednesday.

        Frankfort police said Mr. Pendleton was driving on U.S. 127 at 11:38 p.m. when an officer saw his car weave across the center line and nearly strike a parked vehicle. Mr. Pendleton allegedly told police he could not take a field sobriety test because of a medical condition.

        He was placed in the Franklin County Regional Jail and released about 7 a.m. Friday, just hours before the Senate met.

       



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