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Grandson of Race Car Driver Dale Earnhardt Arrested for DUI

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Bobby Dale Earnhardt

Bobby Dale Earnhardt, photo from his website.

Bobby Dale Earnhardt, the grandson of a race car driver who was killed in a racing crash at age 49, has been charged with DUI in West Virginia, Associated Press (AP) writes in The Washington Post. Bobby Dale Earnhardt, 25, is the son of Kerry Earnhardt, the nephew of Dale Earnhardt Jr., and the grandson of NASCAR Hall of Fame member Dale Earnhardt.

Officers arrested Bobby Dale Earnhardt at around 11:20 p.m. on Monday on West Washington Street, Charleston, after seeing him speeding and driving erratically, reports 58WCHS.com. AP writes that he was pulled over after making a wide left turn at a high speed, with tires squealing.

AP quotes Bobby Dale Earnhardt:

‘I wanted to let you all know I made a terrible mistake last night drinking and driving and I am thankful nothing bad happened from my stupidity and I know It could have,’ Earnhardt wrote in a post on his Facebook page.

‘I’m sorry for letting all my fans friends and family down,’ said Earnhardt. […]

Earnhardt said that he hopes he can ‘make it up to each and everyone of you and in the future be a good role model.’

Charleston Police Lieutenant Shawn Williams told WCHS Radio 58 that Earnhardt failed a field sobriety test and had a blood alcohol content of .193, more than twice the .08 legal limit for DUI in West Virginia. In the criminal complain filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court, Cpl. R.C. Basford wrote that Earnhardt’s eyes were glassy and his speech was slurred, and the inside of the vehicle smelled of alcohol.

Earnhardt was arraigned yesterday [Tuesday] morning and released on a personal recognizance bond after spending the night in South Regional Jail, writes WCHS. In West Virginia, aggravated DUI is a misdemeanor, and the aggravated count can be added to a charge when a driver’s blood alcohol level of greater than .15, WCHS writes. If convicted, Earnhardt faces up to six months in jail and a maximum $500 fine, AP writes.

Earnhardt moved to Charleston from Rockingham N.C. recently in a plan to “gain driving experience” and eventually compete in NASCAR races, AP writes, noting that on his website he says he plans to race in the 2013 ARCA Truck Series.

Wikipedia’s Dale Earnhardt page says that Bobby Dale’s grandfather, Dale Earnhardt, was best known for his involvement in stock car racing for NASCAR. Wikipedia writes about the grandfather:

Considered one of the best NASCAR drivers of all time, Earnhardt won a total of 76 races over the course of his career, including one Daytona 500 victory in 1998. He earned 7 NASCAR Winston Cup Championships, which is tied for the most all time with Richard Petty. His aggressive driving style earned him the nickname ‘The Intimidator.’

While driving in the 2001 Daytona 500, Earnhardt died of a basilar skull fracture in a last-lap crash at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2001. He has been inducted into numerous halls of fame, including the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

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