Thursday, March 5, 2009

NASCAR Team Owner Charged With DUI

There's a joke about trying to make a right-hand turn in there somewhere...

But we'll leave that to the professionals...

NASCAR team owner Billy Ballew ((pictured, thanks Allen Sullivan/AJC)) was arrested for driving drunk at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Ballew confirmed the Wednesday night arrest during a telephone interview Thursday.

“There’s a lot of circumstances I don’t want to go into right now,” Ballew said. “I am 100 percent sure that it will be dropped.”
A Henry County Sheriff’s Office sergeant arrested Ballew at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday night, according to department Major David Foster. Ballew was booked into the county jail on a DUI charge and later released, a jail official said.
Ballew said he was driving a sponsor from his condominium to the passenger’s motor home when “an irate cop” wearing a cap marked “security” stopped him. The condo and the mobile home, said Ballew, are both on racetrack property.
Ballew said he refused to take a breathalyzer test, but acknowledged that he was carrying a mixed drink in the car when he was pulled over.
“It was only one drink. I was not drunk,” Ballew said. “I was on Atlanta Motor Speedway property. I was not on the highway.”
According to Henry County Solicitor Charles A. Spahos, Georgia drunk driving laws do not distinguish between DUI offenses committed on public roads or private streets.
However, Spahos said, Ballew’s arrest on racetrack property is notable.
“It’s certainly a factor I’ll look at when I get the case.”
Ballew, a former stock car driver, is a well-known figure in competive truck racing. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team owner has enlisted an all-star lineup of drivers over the years.
The list includes Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Geoffrey Bodine, John Andretti and Kyle Busch. Busch is scheduled to drive Ballew’s “No. 51” Toyota Tundra in a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race this Saturday at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.
All those of us at OSG HQ can really say is that we're glad Ballew wasn't on US19/41- mixed drink in the car or not- only one drink in his system or not.
We look forward to hearing more about the "irate cop," though.
((HT: AJC/Ben Smith))

1 comment:

DUI-Insider said...

It's kind of ridiculous to arrest someone for drunk driving on private property. It just seems kind of odd. Guess the law will have to decide!