Rascal Flatts Guitarist Joe Don Rooney Pleads Guilty to DUI
Rascal Flatts guitarist and singer Joe Don Rooney pleaded guilty to DUI in a courtroom in Williamson County, Tenn., on Wednesday (June 1), settling a case that goes back to his arrest in September of 2021.
Nashville's Tennessean newspaper reports that the 46-year-old musician pleaded guilty to a first-time DUI. The Class A misdemeanor includes up to 11 months and 29 days of jail time, but Rooney will serve just two days in jail, with the remaining 11 months and 27 days of his sentence suspended.
Rooney is slated to report to jail by 3PM on June 8 to serve his 48 hours, and he'll also complete a mandatory alcohol awareness program. He will lose his driver's license as part of his sentence, but Rooney will be eligible to apply for a restricted license as long as he installs a breathalyzer device in his vehicle.
Rooney was arrested for DUI around 4AM on Sept. 9, 2021, after an officer from the Williamson County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene of a single-car crash on the 1200 block of Hillsboro Road, near Fieldstone Park, which is located just north of Franklin, Tenn., an affluent Nashville suburb. Rooney had crashed his vehicle into a tree.
The guitarist and singer was booked into the Williamson County jail around 7:20AM local time, and released on $2,500 bond at about 10:17AM that morning.
In an affidavit that TMZ obtained in October, Rooney told police he had been golfing earlier and went to a friend's house for drinks afterward, admitting he had "one more than I should have." He added that a deer ran in front of his vehicle, causing him to swerve and hit the tree. The police report noted that Rooney smelled like alcohol and failed multiple field sobriety tests.
Neither Rooney nor his wife, Tiffany Fallon, have commented publicly on his arrest. The only person connected to Rooney who has commented is Rascal Flatts singer Gary LeVox, who told People in October that he had not spoken to his longtime bandmate since his arrest
"I think God gets your attention in different ways," LeVox observed. "I just wish him the best and I hope he gets everything that he needs to get well and take care of whatever issues he's got going on. There's power in prayer."
In that same article, LeVox revealed that Rooney had quite Rascal Flatts prior to the superstar country trio announcing their breakup in January of 2020. They were slated to undertake a farewell tour in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic scuttled those plans.