NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Michael Annett has been charged with driving while impaired following a two-car accident.
Annett, entering his first season for Rusty Wallace Racing, also was charged with resisting arrest, failure to reduce speed and unlawful use of a mobile phone to text or send e-mail. All counts are misdemeanors. He has a March 18 court date.
According to Mooresville Police, Annett had a blood-alcohol level of 0.32 percent - well above the 0.08 legal limit in North Carolina - after he rear-ended another car at a red light at 1:32 a.m. Sunday.
A police officer witnessed the crash and said Annett shoved breath mints in his mouth as he approached Annett's vehicle, prompting a field-sobriety test. No one was injured in the crash, which did an estimated $6,000 damage to the truck Annett was driving and $3,000 to the car he hit, according to the police report.
Annett is entering his third year in the Nationwide Series. He spent his first two years at Germain Racing and was 13th in the standings last season.
''I am deeply remorseful for my actions and my extreme lack of judgment,'' Annett said in a statement. ''I let down my team, my sponsors, my fans and my family; I sincerely apologize to everyone that I hurt.
''This was truly a life-changing moment for me. Despite all of the negativity that will undoubtedly arise from it, I'm going to strive to use this incident as the impetus to make a lot of positive changes in my life.''
Rusty Wallace Racing said it will impose sanctions on Annett.
''Rusty Wallace Racing does not condone, nor tolerate, substance abuse by any of its employees,'' the team said in a statement. ''In line with this, RWR is currently working with Michael to develop a package of sanctions which will address this issue.''
The team said Annett will have to complete an alcohol awareness program and a yearlong community service program. He also faces additional ''internal sanctions.''