A former Democratic congressional candidate was convicted of driving while intoxicated in Fayetteville late Wednesday afternoon, according to the district court judge for the case.
Herb Rule was found guilty in Fayetteville District Court of misdemeanor DWI and three other charges stemming from a traffic stop in August. Rule was also convicted of violation of implied consent, failure to sue a turn signal and improper lane usage, said Brian Thomas, deputy prosecutor.
Sentencing for Rule’s conviction has yet to be decided. A first-offense DWI carries a possible punishment of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine, Thomas said.
Rule lost to freshman U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., in central Arkansas’ 2nd Congressional District in the Nov. 6 general election. Rule, a former Marine and attorney, was unchallenged in the May 22 Democratic primary election.
The former congressional candidate pleaded not guilty in August to all charges. He was taken into custody Aug. 9 in Fayetteville after police say he was driving while drunk. Rule later said the arrest was without cause, and he vowed to fight it. .
“I was not drunk,” Rule, a 74-year-old Little Rock resident, said in a prepared statement. “I was in complete control of my faculties. I will fight the charges vigorously and will win.”
Police said Rule, driving a white Lexus ES300 at about 10 p.m., drifted across lanes on North College Avenue without signaling and also turned onto Joyce Boulevard without signaling. In addition, Rule’s car traveled below the posted speed limit, the report states.
Rule was stopped at 4007 N. Shiloh Drive and was unwilling to cooperate with an officer’s instructions, the report states.
The officer said he smelled “the odor of intoxicating beverages” on Rule and in the vehicle. Rule was given a standardized field sobriety test, which he completed “in a manner consistent with that of an intoxicated person,” the report states.
Rule was arrested and taken to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office but refused to sign paperwork or submit to a blood-alcohol concentration test, according to the report.
In the statement, Rule said he had been returning to his hotel after meeting with friends and supporters when police stopped him for failing to signal a lane change.
Rule said he had dinner two hours before being stopped.
“The arrest was without cause, and I refused the breathalyzer and blood test as permitted by law,” Rule said.
Rule was released from the Washington County Detention Center on Aug. 10 at about 4 a.m. on a $1,055 bond, records show.