Craig Lowe, the mayor of Gainesville, Fla., was charged with a DUI and property damage after he fell asleep behind the wheel while drunk.
Lowe, 55, was arrested around 4 a.m. on Thursday after he crashed his Honda Civic into a ditch, flattening its tires and damaging its front end.
Troopers were called to the scene after someone reported a suspicious car on a rural road in Alachua County.
An officer found Lowe asleep in his car. When he awoke, he told police that he had fallen asleep behind the wheel, which was why he crashed.
But then he admitted he had three beers before driving the car, as officers pointed out he smelled of alcohol and his eyes were bloodshot.
They had him do a sobriety test, which he “performed poorly” on, leading to him being arrested.
When he got to Alachua County Jail, he had a blood alcohol level of .069 and .061, meaning he was not over the legal limit. Officers said he likely had a blood alcohol level above .08 when he crashed the car at 2:20 a.m.
Lowe was booked into jail at 6:30 a.m. and is still there.
A police report explains Lowe was approaching an intersection when he lost control of his car and went onto the road’s shoulder.
The vehicle made its way to a ditch and hit a Florida Department of Transportation road sign before it stopped.
In a statement, the City of Gainesville said it was aware of what happened.
“The immediate concern is the mayor’s well-being. We are continuing to monitor events and will have no further comment on the circumstances related to the incident or the incident itself until the Florida Highway Patrol completes its investigation and official report,” it said.
Lowe came in second in the Gainesville mayoral race on Tuesday and is scheduled to compete with Ed Braddy on April 16.
It seems Lowe and Braddy have at least one thing in common, as Braddy was also arrested for drunk driving in 2006 when his blood-alcohol level was 0.184.
Nick Mildebrath, Lowe’s campaign manager, said it was too soon to comment.
“I can’t speak to that right now,” he said. “I would ask everybody to be patient while we’re gathering the facts.”