Police: Civic council chairman is arrested for drunk driving ; Halverson said he had been at wine event, according to report [Florida Times Union]
(Florida Times Union Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The chairman of the Jacksonville Civic Council was arrested and charged with drunk driving Thursday after an officer saw him weaving on Hendricks Avenue.
Steven Thomas Halverson, president and CEO of The Haskell Co., was stopped about 11:45 p.m. after the officer said he observed the black 2013 Tesla weaving and saw another motorist hit their brakes presumably to avoid a collision, the arrest report said.
The car continued south and at one time a rear wheel rode up on the median. It turned east on Emerson Avenue then turned south at the intersection of Philips Highway and stopped after the officer engaged the emergency lights. After the stop, Halverson said he had been at a wine event and was traveling from home to Walmart. He said he split a bottle of wine with someone and had his last drink at 8:30 p.m. To explain his driving, he told the officer the car was new and might have contributed to his having difficulty maintaining a single lane. He said he would drive with "loved ones" in his condition and doubted he was over the legal limit to drive. The arrest report does not indicate a blood-alcohol level.
The Civic Council is a nonprofit comprised of 58 corporate leaders.
Halverson, 59, has been instrumental in the Civic Council's vocal stance on the city's effort toward pension reform. He and the Civic Council recently proposed the city borrow up to $1 billion as part of a strategy to make it easier for the city to pay pension benefits over the long term.
Halverson in May was awarded the OneJax 2013 Silver Medallion Humanitarian Award for work with Jacksonville University, St. Joseph's University, Regis University and the University of North Florida, along with charitable organizations.
"I take this matter very seriously and I accept full responsibility for my actions," Halverson said in a comment emailed to the Times-Union. "I am profoundly sorry. I fully acknowledge my responsibility to model a high standard of behavior. I ask for your understanding."Times-Union writers Topher Sanders and Jim Schoettler contributed to this report.
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