GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A candidate for the Michigan House of Representatives was arrested for drunken driving in 2020, public records show, though he later pleaded to a lesser charge.
State troopers found Robert Joseph Regan asleep behind the wheel of his running jeep on an entrance ramp to I-75 in St. Ignace in the Upper Peninsula. That was at midnight Sept. 6, 2020, according to the police report.
Video of the stop, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, shows that when asked if he’d had anything to drink, Regan replied, “nope.”
Later, the trooper told Regan he was “smelling a little alcohol” but Regan maintained he had had nothing to drink. He told the troopers he had run a half-marathon on Beaver Island earlier in the day and was heading back to Grand Rapids. He said he pulled over to sleep because he was tired.
At the time, Regan had just come in third in the Republican primary for a seat in the state House representing the 73rd District, which covers the eastern portion of Kent County. Now, he is the Republican nominee for a vacant seat in the 74th District on the county’s west side.
Troopers gave Regan a breathalyzer test and asked him if he knew what the legal alcohol limit for driving is in Michigan. Regan correctly replied .08. Then the trooper showed him his result, .14, asked if he was sticking to his story.
Regan replied with surprise and a long “no.”
“You’re kidding me,” Regan said to the trooper.
Troopers arrested him for driving while intoxicated.
In the car while waiting for a wrecker for his Jeep, Regan joked with troopers, discussed politics and thanked them for their service.
“I really appreciate you guys,” he told them.
He eventually pleaded guilty to reckless driving, paid $750 in fines and costs and lost his license for about three months, according to public records.
Target 8 investigators’ attempts to reach him for comment on this report were not successful.
Public records also show Regan has been ticketed at least five times for speeding in the last two decades and twice for obstructing traffic. They also show a ticket last month for a zoning violation regarding parked vehicles on a property he owns in Grand Rapids Township.
The same public records show a write-in opponent Mike Milanowski Jr. got a ticket for running a stop sign in 2015 in what he says was a minor accident. Those records showed no violations for the Democratic candidate, Carol Glanville.
The special election the candidates are running in is May 3.