(SEATTLE) — Miss Washington USA Stormy Keffeler has apologized for failing to disclose a drunken-driving guilty plea that could mean the loss of her crown.
Keffeler, 23, was crowned in October. She had pleaded guilty a month before to driving in Seattle with a blood alcohol level that was nearly three times the legal limit.
In an interview that aired Wednesday on ABC Seattle affiliate KOMO-TV, Keffeler spoke about her April 7, 2015, arrest.
“I am so sorry to anybody that I’ve disappointed and I can assure you that anything that’s said [about me] I’ve thought so much worse of myself,” she said through tears.
Keffeler was driving on two flat tires in the city’s East Precinct on the night of her arrest, according to a police report. When her vehicle was pulled over, the responding officer smelled alcohol, and Keffeler’s eyes appeared “droopy, bloodshot and watery” while her speech “was very slurred,” the report said.
“When she got out of the car she stumbled … was unsteady on her feet and swayed,” the arresting officer wrote in the report.
Keffeler’s blood alcohol concentration was 0.22, according to court papers. A person may be guilty of DUI with an alcohol concentration of 0.08, as measured by breath or blood, according to Washington state law.
The rules of the Miss Washington USA pageant state that entrants must not engage in “any type of” illegal behavior or activity.
A pageant official, Maureen Francisco, co-executive producer of Miss Washington USA, told KOMO-TV the organization found out about Keffeler’s conviction last Friday.
Francisco says they have since shared the information with the Miss Universe Organization to see whether Keffeler will be allowed to keep her crown.
“We tell these young women you are a role model to somebody so you are going to be in the public eye whether you like it or not,” Francisco told KOMO-TV. “There’s no such thing as a private life.”
Francisco added that people who are quick to judge should ask themselves if they have ever made a mistake they wish the world was not seeing.
Keffeler, a former pro player with the Legends Football League, was ordered to serve two days in jail and 24 months’ probation, plus pay $1,196 in fines and fees. According to KOMO-TV, she was sentenced five days after the pageant.
“I’m very sorry for misfilling out the paperwork,” Keffeler told KOMO-TV. “I never meant to hurt anybody or to offend anybody.”
Keffeler — described on the pageant’s website as a freelance hair and makeup artist who’s studying journalism — said she’s paying for her mistake. She asked for a second chance.
“The only difference between today and the day I was crowned Miss Washington USA is that people know and I’ve already turned my life around…,” she said.
“This lesson was heard loud and clear,” Keffeler added. “I will never drink and drive again. This is something that’s going to stick with me forever.”
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