Rep. Wes Retherford, a Republican congressman from Ohio, was arrested on charges of driving under the influence and improper handling of a gun after officials found him unconscious in his car at a McDonald’s drive-thru window.
According to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office, Retherford, 32, was taken into custody at 7:43 A.M. on Sunday, March 12, after local police responded to a report of a man passed out behind the wheel at the McDonald’s in Liberty Township, Ohio.
When responding officers searched Retherford’s car, they found a loaded handgun on the car’s seat. The 32-year-old politician was charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence and felony improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle. He was booked at the county jail.
Retherford, 32, of Hamilton, is accused of driving while intoxicated to the McDonald’s, at 5500 Liberty Square Drive, and having a loaded firearm in the seat of his vehicle, according to a Butler County Sheriff’s Office news release. The Republican lawmaker faces charges of improperly handling a firearm in a motor vehicle, a felony, and operating a vehicle while under the influence, a first-degree misdemeanor. He was still being held in the Butler County Jail as of Sunday afternoon, according to the jail’s website.
Retherford’s arrest came the morning after the Butler County GOP’s Lincoln Day Dinner, which Retherford attended along with several other state lawmakers and 2018 statewide contenders.
Retherford is a retired U.S. Marine veteran who is married with two children, a son and daughter. In addition to representing the 51st District in the Ohio House of Representatives, Retherford works as a mortician’s assistant at a local funeral home.
Retherford, a resident of Hamilton, Ohio, faces charges of OVI and improperly handling a firearm in a motor vehicle and is
expected to appear in court for his arraignment on Monday, March 13. If convicted of the felony weapons charge, Retherford would not be allowed to continue serving as a state representative.