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Grandson of racing legend Earnhardt arrested for DUI

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The grandson of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Sr. was arrested Monday on a drunken driving charge in Charleston.

Bobby Dale Earnhardt, 25, was arrested near Garvin Avenue after allegedly taking a turn too fast, according to a criminal complaint on file in Kanawha County Magistrate Court.

Earnhardt, grandson of the late racing driver known as The Intimidator, moved to Charleston in February to pursue dirt track racing as part of a plan to break into NASCAR, the younger Earnhardt told a reporter for the Gazette earlier this month. "I'm an Earnhardt through and through," Bobby Dale Earnhardt said at the time. "Racing runs through my blood. The adrenaline."

Earnhardt has been racing for All in One Pawn Shop in the ARCA truck series.

According to the criminal complaint, Charleston police saw Earnhardt take a left-hand turn off of Washington Street on Monday, with the tires on his GMC squealing. Charleston Police Cpl. R.C. Basford stopped him a short time later and allegedly smelled alcohol, the complaint said.

Earnhardt told police he had two shots of liquor before he was pulled over.

Basford said Earnhardt allegedly failed field sobriety tests and was taken back to police headquarters for a blood alcohol test.

According to the criminal complaint, Earnhardt's blood alcohol level was 0.193, more than twice the legal limit.

Earnhardt was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. He was free on bond Tuesday afternoon.

Earnhardt posted a statement to his public Facebook page Tuesday afternoon apologizing for the incident.

"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," according to the post. 

He would continue a racing career, he said.

Reach Rusty Marks at rustymarks@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.


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