Ohio legislator pleads no contest to impaired driving

Left: Booking photo of Rep. Retherford (Courtesy: WLWT/Butler County Sheriff's Office); Right: Official headshot of Rep. Retherford (Courtesy: Ohiohouse.gov)

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) – A state lawmaker from southwest Ohio who was accused of impaired driving has pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charge.

Republican Rep. Wes Retherford, of Hamilton, said Wednesday in court that he “made a mistake” and regrets it.

He received a six-month jail sentence, all suspended except for three days of alcohol intervention. He gives up his license to carry a concealed weapon.

He was arrested March 12 after someone reported a man passed out behind the wheel at a McDonald’s drive-thru. Deputies said they found a loaded handgun inside the car.

Police initially charged Retherford with improperly handling a firearm in a vehicle, a felony that could have resulted in his automatic ouster from the Legislature. But a grand jury later declined to indict him on that count.

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