CLEVELAND -- A Cleveland city councilman appeared in court Monday morning to face charges of speeding and drunk driving.
Cleveland city councilman Eugene Miller plead not guilty to the charges in Cleveland Municipal Court.
The Ward 10 councilman was pulled over for speeding around midnight Sunday on Route 2, near the South Marginal Road exit. According to the citation, Miller was arrested after the officer smelled a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, and after he admitted to having a couple of drinks.
"I just have my own little personal issues I'm dealing with right now, and I made a mistake, watching a football game, being a casual drinker," Miller told Fox 8 after the brief hearing.
Miller's citation also shows that his blood alcohol content was .056, which is actually below the legal limit of .08.
Cleveland police say even if a driver is below the legal limit of .08, they can still be charged with DUI. For example, the alcohol combined with, let's say, prescription medication, could cause the person to be impaired and fail a field sobriety test.
The specifics of Councilman Miller's arrest were not revealed.
"I don't think it's the end of the world, but he will be held at a higher standard, and it will come up and haunt him during his next election," said one resident in his ward.
"It's an embarrassing situation, I can tell you that," said Cleveland city councilman Zach Reed.
One of Miller's colleagues on city council, Reed did find himself in a similar situation about five years ago.
He says his political career survived two DUI's, and he believes Eugene Miller's can too.
He’s been a good councilperson for them, he represented them very well, and at the end of the day, it's one of those situations where they need to work it out," Reed said.
"I'm still doing the work, you can follow my email, I'm still working, I'm still gonna go to my meetings all day, I'm still gonna do the people's work, I'm just inundated with my own personal problems right now," said Miller.
Eugene Miller is due back in court December 11.