For the second time in less than two weeks, Hendersonville alderman Angie Hedberg has pleaded guilty to a DUI charge - this time in Cheatham County.
Hedberg pleaded guilty Wednesday to Driving Under the Influence and was sentenced to 11 months and 29 days in jail with all but 48 hours suspended, according to Cheatham County Circuit Court Clerk Julie Hibbs. After she serves 48 hours in jail, Hedberg will serve the remainder of her sentence on probation, Hibbs added. Hedberg will report to jail this Friday, Sept. 29 to serve her 48 hours.
Hedberg was also charged with Immediate Notice of an Accident and Violation of Implied Consent in the incident that occurred on May 16 in Pleasant View, Tenn. Both of those charges were dismissed, according to Hibbs.
Hedberg, who represents Ward 3, pleaded to guilty to DUI Sept. 19 in Metro Nashville/Davidson County Criminal Court. An Implied Consent charge was dismissed.
She was sentenced in that case to 11 months and 21 days in jail with all but 48 hours suspended as well. The alderman was also placed on supervised probation for a year and had her license suspended for a year in that case.
Nashville attorney Tommy Overton represented Hedberg in the Cheatham County case. Overton said that Hedberg received a sentence for a first-offense DUI on Wednesday despite last week's guilty plea because the Cheatham County incident occurred before the one in Davidson County.
"Basically you can't sentence someone to a second DUI when the other has occurred first," said Overton.
Hedberg was arrested and charged with DUI and Implied Consent on July 18 after a witness saw her driving erratically in her Hendersonville neighborhood and followed her into Davidson County.
According to a police affidavit, Hedberg's vehicle was stopped by three officers after turning into the Watkins School of Design and she was observed pouring out a beverage that smelled of alcohol.
Police say they found an opened box of strawberry-rita malt beverage in the front seat and four empty cans inside and that Hedberg showed "numerous clues of impairment" when asked to perform standard field sobriety tasks.
Hedberg refused a blood test and told police she had taken an antidepressant as well, according to the affidavit.
In the May 16 incident, Cheatham County Sheriff's Office Officer Jacob Kent responded to the area of 6010 Highway 41-A in reference to a call that a female was flagging down vehicles as they passed. When he arrived on the scene, the officer found a minor accident had occurred, but no one was around the vehicles, according to a police report.
While the officer was on the scene, a second caller and witness called in stating that the caller had given the female a ride to a service station. The caller said that the female was heavily intoxicated and was trying to leave the area and go to Hendersonville. The officer arrived at the service station and met Hedberg, who smelled of alcohol, had blood shot eyes and slurred speech, according to the report.
The alderwoman, who was elected to her first term in November, denied drinking alcohol but did admit to driving the brown Ford Explorer left at the scene. She also admitted to driving the vehicle from the Hendersonville area, the report stated.
Hedberg performed poorly on several standardized field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI, according to the report.
When contacted after the first DUI plea, the alderman said she has applied for a restricted driver's license and installed an ignition interlock device in her car two months ago on her own accord. In order to obtain a restricted license, she'll have to have the device in her car for a year.
Hedberg, 54, said she has also attended Alcoholics Anonymous classes three days a week for the past two months.
"She made a mistake like a lot of people do and she's learned from it and she's being punished like anyone else in a similar situation," said Overton. "I think she's going to learn from it and be a stronger person because of it."