Mesa councilman pleads guilty in DUI case

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A Mesa councilman has pleaded guilty to charges of driving while intoxicated after being arrested in May.

Ryan Winkle will serve six days in jail and 49 days of home detention.

The Tempe city prosecutor's office says Winkle pleaded guilty to the charges at Tempe Municipal Court.

"It felt relieving," Winkle said. "I've wanted to do this since day one."

This is his second DUI arrest. While his career hangs in the balance, Winkle said he is using his situation to show kids what not to do.

"Hopefully, they see you know, I'm trying to make good with the community," Winkle said. "I've done a lot of stuff already with youth and kind of telling this youth group that I mentor about, you know, this why you don't do this."

Tempe police say Winkle was given a criminal citation for DUI on May 7 after the car he was driving was reportedly weaving in the roadway before it was pulled over. Police say he exhibited signs and symptoms consistent with impairment during the traffic stop.

"I regret doing that. Period," Winkle said.

Authorities say he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.22 percent, nearly three times the state's legal limit for drivers.

The councilman announced in May he was taking a voluntary leave of absence.

Winkle said this has been an important lesson for him.

"My wife and I have quit drinking. We haven't had any alcohol since May 7," Winkle said.

The Mesa City Council will decide whether Winkle has to step down during a hearing on Aug. 31.

"If I'm voted out that's a sad day but it won't stop my community service," Winkle said.


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