Thursday, August 26, 2004

Warren auditor guilty of DUI

By David Eck
Enquirer contributor

LEBANON - Warren County Auditor Nick Nelson was ordered Wednesday to attend a three-day alcohol treatment program.

Nelson, 57, of Oregonia, pleaded guilty to an amended driving-under-the-influence charge in Lebanon Municipal Court in connection with a June 28 incident on Ohio 63 in Lebanon. Nelson, who is to have no alcohol-related violations in the next three years, also received a suspended 180-day jail sentence, a six-month driving suspension with employment and medical privileges, and must pay a $300 fine and court costs.

A charge of weaving was dismissed as part of a plea agreement. The case was heard by retired visiting Judge Larry Moore.

Nelson would not comment after the court appearance.

His lawyer, Bill Fowler, asked the judge to consider that Nelson is active in his church and has strong ties to Warren County. "This is a first offense of any nature," Fowler said. "He certainly apologizes to the court for the circumstances that brought him here today."

Nelson was pulled over after deputies said he weaved across the center line several times on Ohio 63. Breath tests showed he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.181, records said. Ohio's legal limit is 0.08.

Nelson was re-elected in an uncontested election in 2002.



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