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Report: TN secretary of state driving state-issued car at time of DUI arrest

Tre Hargett was in Tullahoma when authorities stopped him.

TENNESSEE, USA — Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett was driving a state-issued vehicle when he was arrested Friday night on suspicion of driving under the influence, WSMV-TV reports.

According to records, Hargett was observed by police leaving Bar 315 in Tullahoma in Coffee County around 11:30 p.m. Officers watched Hargett swerve on the road and come to a stop at a bar located at South Jackson Street.

After leaving that bar, police pulled Hargett over, administered a sobriety test, and arrested him for a DUI.

WSMV4 has confirmed Hargett was in his state-issued vehicle at the time of the arrest.

Hargett issued a statement after his arrest: "On Friday night, after leaving the Bonnaroo Music Festival, I was stopped by the Tullahoma Police Department and subsequently arrested for DUI. Driving Under the Influence is a serious matter, and I regret the circumstances that led to my arrest. I respect law enforcement and trust the legal process as we move forward."

As the Tennessee secretary of state, Secretary Hargett is assigned a state vehicle, for which personal use is allowed. Hargett pays taxes on the use of this vehicle. Based on the outcome of legal proceedings, the department will take appropriate steps to comply with state policy.

According to an affidavit, a passenger was in the car with Hargett at the time of the arrest and told the officer that he and Hargett had been drinking four hours earlier.

The affidavit added that Hargett continued to say “yes sir” at inappropriate times when questioned by the officer.

According to booking records, Hargett was booked into the Coffee County Jail shortly early Saturday and posted a $2,000 bail several hours later.

Hargett was elected by the Tennessee General Assembly to serve as secretary of state in 2009 and reelected in 2013, 2017, Friday night after, and 2021, according to the secretary of state’s website. Hargett is chief executive officer of the Department of State with oversight of more than 300 employees.

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