A Georgetown man seeking a state House seat in the Nov. 2 election will pay a fine after a reckless driving charge against him was reduced to careless driving, according to court records.
Ryan Quarles, 26, will pay $143 in court costs, court records said. He will also have to attend traffic school.
Quarles was arrested near North Mill and West Short streets in Lexington about 3:10 a.m. Oct. 2. He was driving a black Jeep Cherokee through a parking lot, weaving through cars, the uniform citation said.
Quarles said in an interview that the end result of the case was "no different than getting a speeding ticket," and that the situation had been "blown out of proportion" and misreported.
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Quarles said he was picking up a friend who was in a desperate situation and could not take care of himself.
"The issues facing voters are far too large for a traffic citation to stop my campaign," Quarles said. "No laws were broken, and I was in complete control of my capacities."
Defense attorney Fred Peters asked Fayette District Judge T. Bruce Bell to dismiss the charges because Quarles was in a parking lot and the exits were blocked by several police officers.
"The defendant had asked one of the officers how he could exit the parking lot when the arresting officer noticed he had an odor of alcohol on his breath," Peters said in the motion.
The officer gave Quarles a breath test then arrested him for reckless driving, Peters said.
The police report said Quarles showed signs of intoxication and had a blood alcohol level of 0.067 when given a breath test. His blood alcohol level was below the legal driving limit of 0.08.
Quarles, a Republican challenging Democratic state Rep. Charlie Hoffman in the 62nd House District, is a recent University of Kentucky law school graduate.