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Thomas Ravenel to have S.C. license suspended after DWI in New York

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Thomas Ravenel to have S.C. license suspended after DWI in New York

Thomas Ravenel

Thomas Ravenel, a former state treasurer and current reality TV star, will have his driver's license suspended for six months after pleading guilty to a drunken driving charge in New York.

The suspension covers his privileges in South Carolina as well.

The East Hampton Star newspaper reported Ravenel pleaded guilty Wednesday to one misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated. He was arrested July 22 last year by East Hampton Village police.

Along with the suspension, the municipal court on Long Island fined him $1,400, the newspaper reported.

After the six months is over, Ravenel will be required to install an interlock device on any car he drives in New York state for an additional year.

The device, which a user blows into, will not let the car start if it detects any alcohol on his breath.

Ravenel will not be required to install the device while in South Carolina, according to the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles.

Installation of the device, which is currently the subject of debate in the S.C. Legislature, is required after a second DUI offense.

A proposal now under debate here called Emma's Law would require the installment of the device after a first offense conviction if the driver blows a 0.15 blood alcohol report on a Breathalyzer field exam.

According to S.C. DMV officials, other penalties will apply to Ravenel in South Carolina, including the following:

His license will be suspended for six months.

He'll be ordered to pay a $100 reinstallment fee.

He must file a certificate to his insurance.

He will be required to complete an alcohol and drug substance abuse program.

Following his arrest last year, Ravenel told The Post and Courier he planned to contest his drunken driving charge, saying he had only two drinks and wasn't intoxicated when police pulled him over at 2:30 a.m. on Long Island.

"When I'm wrong I admit it - and make it right. That's what Thomas Ravenel does," he said in a statement in July.

"In this situation, however, I emphatically reject the allegations of intoxication and erratic driving. As I told the arresting officer - who I respect for doing his job - I had a beer at the club and a glass of wine prior to that at dinner. I was not drunk, and I look forward to making my case in court."

But after pleading guilty this week in East Hampton Town Justice Court, Ravenel paid the fine, minus the $650 he had posted for bail after his arrest, the East Hampton Star reported. He was originally scheduled to appear in court in May.

Before accepting a guilty plea, Ravenel was required to admit to prosecutors that he'd been drinking and was intoxicated at the time he was arrested, the East Hampton Star reported.

A police incident report said Ravenel was stopped because he was observed crossing the solid white line and onto the shoulder and had crossed the solid double line at the road center.

Ravenel said he took a breath sobriety test at the stop that he later learned put his blood alcohol content at .09. The legal BAC threshold in New York state is .08.

Ravenel resigned his post as state treasurer in 2007, later pleading guilty to cocaine possession. He was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison and three years of probation.

Ravenel has been the subject of a reality show, "Southern Charm," on the Bravo network, which has aired four episodes so far. He has also hinted he is considering a run for U.S. Senate against Republican incumbent Lindsey Graham.

Reach Natalie Caula Hauff at 937-5594 or

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