Burt pleads guilty to drunk driving charge - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Burt pleads guilty to drunk driving charge

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -- State Rep. Kerry Burt pleaded guilty to an OWI charge in Polk County Friday morning.

Burt received a deferred judgement and was placed on one year probation. He was also fined $650 and must complete an OWI program.

His trial was set for Monday on charges that stemmed from an arrest on Feb. 11 in Ankeny. Police reports said Burt had a blood alcohol level of 0.131 percent.

The breath test was thrown out in June after a judge said officers did not inform Burt his license could be revoked if he refused to take the test.

Video from the arrest and police reports say Burt told officers he couldn't be arrested because of his position as a state representative.

Burt attended a party with other state lawmakers including Gov. Chet Culver the night he was arrested. Culver's office said the governor left the party early and did not know what Burt did after the party.

Burt is also under investigation, along with several other families, for providing an incorrect address to a state run school in Cedar Falls and saving more than $30,000 on tuition.

Burt released the following statement on Friday:

"I wish to apologize to my family, colleagues, constituents, and all who share Iowa's roads for my poor judgment in drinking and driving. There is no one but me to blame for my foolish decision. Everyone who knows me recognizes that this action was completely out of character, and I will not allow it to happen again.

In the hope of setting the record straight so that all of us may move forward, I will relay what happened that morning: While driving on I-35 my tire blew out, which caused my vehicle to swerve and hit a barrier.
After determining that no one was hurt, I cautiously drove with flashers on to the nearest exit, where I knew I would find a convenience store at which to park and wait for a ride.

In the parking lot was Officer Phinney, who I approached to report the incident. He suspected that I had been drinking, and - following proper police procedure - tested and subsequently arrested me. The officer treated me with courtesy and respect and I applaud him for doing his job.

Contrary to a particular media depiction, I do not consider myself above the law or deserving of any preferential treatment. I made a terrible mistake and rightfully am paying a price. I hope this statement clears up any confusion that has surrounded this incident since I have no further comment on it. Instead, I wish to focus my energies on putting together solid legislation that benefits the state and community to which I am devoted."

Online Producer: Jenn Jarvis

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