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Deputy: Lawmaker 'nearly fell over' during sobriety test

Posted at 3:01 PM, Mar 13, 2017

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- A deputy stopped performing a field sobriety test on Ohio Rep. Wes Retherford after the lawmaker "nearly fell over," according to an incident report released Monday.

Retherford, 32, was arrested early Sunday morning after he appeared to be passed out behind the wheel at a McDonald's drive-thru.

A 911 caller reported seeing a man passed out in the driver's seat of a running Silverado at 3:23 a.m.

"He's not even up to where he orders," the caller told an emergency dispatcher. "He's just sitting there."

Deputies sent to the scene found Retherford in the truck. His breath smelled of an alcoholic beverage, his speech was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot, the arresting deputy wrote in an incident report. Retherford also had a difficult time standing and appeared confused, the deputy wrote.

MORE: State Rep. Wes Retherford was once ordered to remove liquor cabinet from office

Retherford told the deputy that he was coming from a bar near the McDonald's.

During a sobriety test, Retherford was swaying and, when asked to stand on one leg, almost fell over, according to the report.

"I stopped the test for his safety," the arresting deputy wrote.

The deputy then arrested Retherford, who said he also had a pistol in the truck. The deputy found the Glock 23 in a holder with 15 rounds in the magazine and one round in the chamber, according to the report.

Authorities drove Retherford to Ohio Stater Patrol Post 9 for a blood alcohol content test, but he refused the test. Then he was driven to the Butler County Jail.

Retherford represents Ohio's 51st District, which includes the cities of Hamilton and Fairfield, Ross Township, and parts of Fairfield, Hanover and St. Clair townships. He was first elected to the office in 2012

He was charged with improperly handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle while intoxicated and OVI.