Vermont Auditor Tom Salmon faces a drunken driving charge after being stopped for failing to use a turn signal.
Montpelier police took Salmon into custody Friday night for suspicion of driving under the influence.
Salmon, 46, of St. Johnsbury, blew .086 on a breath test — just over the .08 minimum — after a Vermont State Police trooper stopped him for failing to use a turn signal late Friday in Montpelier and he admitted having had several drinks.
Salmon, who had been drinking red wine at a party, was cited and has a Dec. 3 court date.
"I made a mistake," he said Saturday. "I screwed up. I’m going to face the consequences, take my medicine. And I’ll move forward."
Salmon, the son of former Gov. Thomas P. Salmon, was elected to the $95,000-a-year post as auditor of accounts in 2006 and re-elected last year, even though he was serving with the U.S. Navy Reserve in Iraq at the time.
Two months ago, he switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican, saying the GOP was more committed to addressing the fiscal realities facing Vermont than were Democrats.
On Saturday, he went into his office and notified staff members about the incident before making a scheduled appearance at the Vermont Republican Party’s annual meeting in Montpelier, where he also acknowledged the arrest.
"I’m feeling supported, and I am grateful for my support. I’m apologetic to my supporters, and to Vermonters who look to me as a statewide official. What I say to the young kids and the people across this great state is that I made a mistake and I’m going to own it 100 percent and I’m going to deal with it," he said.