by Paul Bowers
The East Hampton Star is reporting that former S.C. Treasurer Thomas Ravenel was arrested early Monday morning on a charge of driving while intoxicated.
According to an incident report from the East Hampton Village Police Department, at 2:30 a.m. Monday, Ravenel "did cross over the solid white line onto the shoulder portion of the roadway once and did cross over the center solid double line once on Montauk Highway (SR-27) near Cove Hollow Road." An officer pulled Ravenel over and noted that his "breath smelled strongly of an odor of an alcoholic beverage, his eyes were red and glassy, he was unsteady on his feet, [and] he failed several roadside sobriety tests."
Ravenel was arrested and transported to police headquarters, where he refused to submit to a breathalyzer test, according to the incident report, and he was "lodged for arraignment." Ravenel was arraigned in court at 9:30 a.m. Monday, where, according to the Star, bond was initially set at $750 until Ravenel said he could only access $600 with his debit card and had $65 in cash in his wallet. “Okay," Justice Catherine A. Cahill reportedly said. "$650." The Star reports that Ravenel is due back in court Thursday, although the police incident report lists a "return date" of Aug. 8.
Ravenel, a real estate developer, was elected S.C. state treasurer in 2006 but resigned in 2007 while facing federal cocaine distribution charges. He was convicted and served 10 months in federal prison. Since then, he has dabbled in a lot of things. He advocated for an end to the War on Drugs, announced his intentions to renounce his U.S. citizenship (but didn't actually do it), participated as a featured character on the upcoming Bravo "reality" show Southern Charm, and hinted at a run for Lindsey Graham's U.S. Senate seat.
He's also apparently gotten into polo. According to the Star, Ravenel's attorney told a judge Monday morning, “He’s playing polo. He’s part of the Southampton Polo team." In recent Facebook photos, Ravenel can be seen playing polo in a jersey bearing the logo of Brookland Plantation, a historic property on Edisto Island where he previously owned a house. According to records at the S.C. Secretary of State's office, Brookland Plantation LLC's registered agent lists the same Mt. Pleasant address (1051H Johnnie Dodds Blvd.) as the Ravenel Development Corporation.