Updated: FL Rep. Eagle Accepts Deal, DUI Dropped to Reckless Driving

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Florida Representative Dane Eagle has issued the following statement:

"First, I want to again apologize to my constituents, family, and friends for the embarrassment this whole ordeal has caused. Today, I am very pleased to let you know that we can finally put this entire matter behind us.

As I have maintained throughout, I did not drive under the influence. I did, however, exercise poor judgment that night, and in my carelessness I drove recklessly. The prosecutor agreed that reckless driving is the appropriate resolution, and the court has accepted that agreement. I take full responsibility for my actions and accept the penalties for the reckless driving sanction I have been issued.

I sincerely appreciate the steadfast support I have received. I am relieved to have the incident behind me and remain committed to effectively representing the citizens of District 77."

News Release: Associated Press
June 27, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- A member of the Florida Legislature is being sentenced to six months of probation and subjected to alcohol tests under a plea deal.

Rep. Dane Eagle was arrested in April and charged with drunken driving after an officer spotted him driving erratically and he refused to be tested. The Cape Coral Republican refused to resign after his arrest. The plea deal was reached Thursday.

Eagle, who was not in court for the hearing, pleaded no contest to a lesser charge of reckless driving according to the state attorney's office.

Part of the deal requires Eagle to also perform 100 hours of community service as well as spending time in a program that counsels drivers.

Eagle will also have to subject himself to tests to see if he has been drinking.

By: Andy Alcock
June 25, 2014

A state lawmaker accused of drunk driving has a new court date.

Wednesday afternoon, an attorney for State Representative Dane Eagle appeared in Leon County Court on Eagle's behalf.

Eagle is accused of driving drunk along Tallahassee's Tennessee Street April 21st.

A police report says Eagle was swerving all over the road, ran a red light, smelled of alcohol and refused to take a breathalyzer test.

Wednesday afternoon a pre-trial hearing was set for July 30th.

Eagle's attorney Matt Foster says he hopes he can reach an out of court settlement with the state attorney before that hearing.

"He's absolutely not guilty of driving under the influence. He recognizes whenever you run a red light, that's never a good thing," said Foster. "Like every other citizen, he's got a responsibility to drive safely and he recognizes distracted driving can be a big problem," he said.

Eagle was not required to be in court and did not appear.

Foster says the Republican lawmaker from Cape Coral in southwest Florida probably will not appear at his July pre-trial either.

Associated Press News Release
May 8, 2014

CAPE CORAL, Fla. (AP) -- A 30-year-old state representative from southwest Florida says he won't resign his post and will fight a drunken driving charge brought against him.

Republican Rep. Dane Eagle said Wednesday he waited two weeks to address the allegations because of responsibilities during the final two weeks of the Legislative session.

He was arrested in Tallahassee on April 21 after a police officer saw his SUV swerving about two miles from the state Capitol.

Eagle says he's "deeply sorry for this embarrassing situation."

He says he drinks socially and does not have an alcohol problem and admitted using poor judgment in refusing a Breathalyzer test.

Leon County records show Eagle's next court appearance is June 25.

He says he will continue in office and plans to run for re-election.

News Release: Representative Dane Eagle
May 2, 2014 - 4:30pm

Representative Dane Eagle released the following statement today:

“I want to apologize profusely to my constituents, my friends back home and my colleagues in the legislature. I understand the video related to my arrest has been released, but at this time, my top priority is the business of the legislature and I have not had an opportunity to review the video. I continue to thank you for your patience as I focus on my legislative responsibilities. I look forward to addressing you when I return home next week.”

By: Julie Montanaro
May 2, 2014 - 4pm

Tallahassee, FL - The state attorney has just released dash cam video of a Florida lawmaker's drunk driving arrest.

Dane Eagle was stopped on West Tennessee Street just before 2 a.m.on April 21st.

The dash cam video is nearly 30 minutes long.

It shows Eagle running a red light and you can clearly see his House of Representatives license plate when police pull him over outside a copy shop.

You can hear officers ask Eagle to take a field sobriety test, which he refused.

You can see Eagle in handcuffs as officers searched his pockets and placed him inside the patrol car.

Eagle has pleaded not guilty to the drunk driving charges. His next court date is in June.

By: Andy Alcock
April 22, 2014 - 6pm

A Florida lawmaker has been arrested in Tallahassee for driving under the influence of alcohol.

State Representative Dane Eagle was arrested early Monday morning on West Tennessee Street and later released from jail on $500 bond.

"Very unfortunate situation," said Eagle. "I regret the incident," he said. "There are two sides to every story and I look forward to sharing those details and being transparent and will be accountable for my action," Eagle said.

Eagle was at work on the House floor on Tuesday.

The 30 year old from Cape Coral is in his first term after serving as the youngest chief of staff to a Florida Governor in history for Charlie Crist.

Early Monday morning, a Tallahassee Police report says Eagle was driving a black SUV when he left the Taco Bell on West Tennessee Street.

The report says Eagle nearly tried to make a left hand turn across the concrete median, later veered off the road and hit a curb and then ran a red light.

The report says after the officer pulled Eagle over, he smelled of alcohol and his eyes were bloodshot, watery and glassy.

The report also says Eagle denied he was drinking, refused a field sobriety test and refused a breath test.

The arrest comes as this year's session is winding down.

"We've got two weeks left to make some very important votes and I'll be focusing on that," said Eagle. "This will not impede my effectiveness here," he said.

Last month, Eagle introduced a bill requiring mandatory drug testing for state lawmakers and other public officials and felt confident his colleagues would pass it.

"I don't think when it's in front of them they would vote it down. I don't know how they could," Eagle said on March 7.

When asked if his DUI arrest after introduction of the drug testing measure was a little bit hypocritical, State Representative Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda said, "You know I'm not going to speak to that, Dane's a friend."

Vasilinda also called Eagle's arrest "sad and a life changing event".

House Speaker Will Weatherford calls the arrest "an unfortunate situation".

As for Eagle's mandatory drug testing proposal, it's made no progress in House committees and is likely to go nowhere this session.

By: Eyewitness News
April 22, 2014 - 4pm

Tallahassee, FL - Dane Eagle's mug shot has been released by the Leon County Sheriff's Office.

News Release: Representative Dane Eagle
April 22, 2014 - 10:45am

“I was arrested in Tallahassee and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol. While there are some decisions that I would have made differently, I do not believe there is a complete and accurate picture of the events. Under advice of my legal counsel, I cannot discuss all the details right now, but I look forward to publically sharing the entire story at an appropriate time. Until then, I humbly ask for everyone's patience. I know that I am accountable for my actions, and I look forward to communicating with my constituents in the near future on this matter.”

By: Eyewitness News
April 22, 2014 - 9am

Tallahassee, FL - State Representative Dane Eagle was arrested and charged with driving under the influence early Monday morning in Tallahassee.

According to arrest documents, a Tallahassee Police Department officer noticed a black SUV nearly run over a raised median at Tennessee Street and Stadium Drive just before 2am Monday morning.

The officer followed the vehicle through a u-turn at Tennessee and Caliark. The officer stated that the SUV hit a curb near the intersection of Tennessee and Brevard. The SUV also reportedly ran a red light at Tennessee and Dewey Street.

Upon pulling the vehicle over, the officer noted a strong odor of alcohol coming from the car. When asked if he would be willing to perform a field sobriety exercise, Eagle reportedly said he "was good to get home."

Eagle was booked into the Leon County Jail at 4:30 Monday morning. Eagle reportedly refused to provide a breath sample at the jail.

A mug shot was not released due to Eagle claiming a public records exemption. He bonded out of jail at 5:30 Monday morning. An arraignment is set for May 22, 2014.

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