LITTLE ROCK — Former Republican state Sen. Gilbert Baker of Conway will have to serve a day in jail after pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of driving while intoxicated and refusal to submit to a chemical test.
Baker, 60, was sentenced in Faulkner County District Court to two days in jail, with credit for one day already served, and fined $1,225, the amount that he posted as bond to be released from jail after his Aug 26 arrest following a traffic stop in Conway.
Baker was ordered to serve the remaining 24 hours of his sentence within the next 30 days. A charge of driving left of center was dropped.
Baker’s lawyer, Frank Shaw, said Tuesday that Baker had authorized him to release the following statement:
“I made two serious mistakes the evening of Friday, August 26. First, I was very belligerent and disrespectful to several Conway police officers when they pulled me over at about 8:30 p.m. in front of the new Walmart on Dave Ward Drive, which is located about five minutes from my home. These officers were simply doing their jobs, and I sincerely regret making their jobs more difficult. I was wrong.
“Secondly, I was wrong to have driven home from Little Rock after having had some alcohol earlier in the evening. I regret both bad decisions and accept the responsibility and consequences of those decisions.”
According to a police report, an officer stopped Baker after seeing his vehicle swerving and straddling the center line. The officer administered a sobriety test, which Baker failed, and then placed Baker under arrest.
On the way to the police station and at the station, Baker was “verbally belligerent” and “uncooperative” with officers, according to the report. Baker refused to submit to a breath test at the station, but eventually he calmed down and apologized to the officers, the report states.
Baker served in the state Senate from 2001-2013. He now teaches music at the University of Central Arkansas.
UCA spokeswoman Christina Madsen said Tuesday the university does not comment on personnel matters.