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Scarborough state representative pleads guilty to drunken driving

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Scarborough state representative pleads guilty to drunken driving

SCARBOROUGH — State Rep. Sean Flaherty, D-Scarborough, was driving drunk last August when he crashed his car at southbound Mile 23 of Interstate 295 in Freeport.

Flaherty, 25, pleaded guilty Oct. 1 to operating under the influence on the night of Aug. 8, when he was returning from a wedding, reportedly swerved to miss an animal, over-corrected and flipped his Toyota Avalon. 

According to Maine State Police, Flaherty was fined $500 and had his license suspened for 90 days, the standard punishment for a first offense.

Flaherty had some cuts and bruises, but was mostly unharmed in the crash. No other cars were involved. Police said a blood test conducted after Flaherty was transported to the Cumberland County Jail found he had a blood alcohol content of 0.16 percent, twice the legal limit of 0.08.

"I am working to put the accident behind me, use it as a humbling and important lesson, and move forward to try to bring something positive out of the situation," Flaherty said in a statement. "I am so thankful that my bad decision didn’t hurt anyone else."

Flaherty originally pleaded innocent in August.

Flaherty, who is seeking re-election against Republican candidate Amy Volk, also apologized to his constituents and called the incident a "stupid mistake." 

"The worst thing about this mistake is that I have been so honored the past two years to represent Scarborough in the Maine Legislature. I worry that I have let down those who I care most about — the people in my home town," he said.

Flaherty, who has coached swimming at Scarborough High School, said he has reapplied for the coaching position and hopes to be rehired.

Emily Parkhurst can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or eparkhurst@theforecaster.net

This story was updated on Oct. 7, 2010.