WEATHERFORD - According to a statement released by a family spokesman, Walmart heiress and Parker County resident Alice Walton, arrested on a charge of DWI last week, accepts full responsibility for the incident.
“Ms. Walton was pulled over by a patrolman with the Department of Public Safety for driving 71 mph in an unattended 55 mph construction zone,” Walton’s attorney, Dee J. Kelly, said in a statement. “She was returning home from a birthday dinner with friends at a Fort Worth restaurant. She accepts full responsibility for this unfortunate incident and deeply regrets it.”
Walton was stopped on Interstate 20 in a construction zone near South Main Street in Weatherford for a traffic violation shortly after 10 p.m. by Trooper Jeff Davis, according to Senior Trooper Gary Rozzell.
“Through an investigation at the scene, [Walton] was determined to be intoxicated during a field sobriety test,” Rozzell said.
Walton refused a breath test, according to Rozzell.
She was arrested for driving while intoxicated, first offense, a class B misdemeanor, and transported to the Parker County Jail, Rozzell said.
According to jail records, Walton was booked into jail shortly after 11 p.m. Friday, October 7, 2011 and released on $1,000 bond around 8:40 a.m. Saturday.
Walton was convicted of driving while intoxicated in 1998 in Springdale, Ark.
According to an Associated Press report of the trial, police officers testified Walton repeatedly refused to submit to a blood-alcohol test after being involved in a crash with a gas meter and telephone box.
One officer testified she asked if he knew who she was and knew her last name, according to the AP story.
After being released by police in Arkansas, Walton reportedly requested a blood test, which showed Walton’s blood-alcohol level at 0.16.
However, Walton testified she had had a few drinks but wasn’t drunk, according to the AP account.
Walton was also involved in crash that resulted in the death of a 50-year-old pedestrian in 1989, according to other news accounts.
No charges were filed in that case.
Alice Walton, the Wal-Mart heiress whose brainchild Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art opens next month in Bentonville, was arrested for DWI in Texas on Friday, according to police.
Walton, a resident of Millsap, Texas, spent part of her 62nd birthday in the Parker County Jail after being arrested by a Texas Highway Patrol trooper on the charge. On Saturday, she was released on a $1,000 bond.
The newspaper said Trooper Jeff Davis stopped Walton on Interstate 20 in a construction zone near South Main Street in Weatherford for a traffic violation shortly after 10 p.m.
Walton was alleged to be driving 71 mph in a 55-mph zone.
"Through an investigation at the scene, [Walton] was determined to be intoxicated during a field sobriety test," police told the newspaper.
Wal-Mart Heiress Walton Guilty of Drunken DrivingMay 30, 1998| From Associated Press
SPRINGDALE, Ark. — Billionaire Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton was convicted Friday on all four counts in a drunken driving case and could be sent to jail for a year when she is sentenced July 2.
Walton, worth $6.3 billion and listed by Forbes magazine as America's second-richest woman--behind her mother--could have simply paid $650 to settle the case but chose instead to fight the charges with a pair of attorneys.
Walton, 48, frowned slightly as the judge's decision became apparent, but she later said she had no regrets about the trial.
Walton, daughter of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. founder Sam Walton, crashed her car Jan. 27 near her home. She broke her nose when her car hit a gas meter and a telephone box. Walton testified that she had had a few drinks but wasn't drunk.
Her attorneys argued that the crash could have been caused by fatigue after a full day of business meetings.
Police officers testified that Walton repeatedly refused to submit to a blood-alcohol test.
"She turned back to me and said, 'Do you know who I am? Do you know my last name?' " Police Officer Charles Motsinger testified.
Walton said she did not recall making those statements but said, "Officer Motsinger was very ugly to me."
After she was released by police, Walton returned to the hospital and requested a blood test. A hospital worker said Walton's blood-alcohol level registered 0.16. The legal limit in Arkansas is 0.10.
Municipal Judge Stanley Ludwig found Walton guilty of driving while intoxicated, refusing to take a blood-alcohol test at the request of police, driving without a seat belt and failing to properly maintain control of her vehicle.