Steve Wilkos’ sober persona was shattered when he reeked of alcohol while police attempted to remove him from his SUV after a car crash last month.
Police on the scene of The Steve Wilkos Show host’s wreck could smell booze as they pulled him from his vehicle following the single-car crash in Darien, Connecticut, TMZ reports, citing court records.
Wilkos’ SUV flipped on its side on Jan. 21 after he hit a tree and multiple telephone poles. The talk show host previously told TMZ that the accident was caused because he was distracted while reaching for his glasses, but he confessed he lied after a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Wilkos turned himself in on Wednesday evening in Connecticut and has been charged with operating a vehicle under the influence and failure to drive right. He was released after posting a $1,500 bond.
Police told TMZ that as part of the investigation into the January 21 accident, a search warrant for Wilkos’ medical records was secured. They discovered his blood alcohol content was .29, more than three times the legal limit, on the afternoon his car was wrecked.
According to police, witnesses spotted Wilkos speeding and swerving on the road ahead of the crash, so much that two vehicles had to pull over to the curb to avoid him. Police records also cite that one witness said she saw Wilkos speed out of sight, then seconds later heard a “big boom and saw the power lines shake.”
The Jerry Springer Show former bodyguard's sustained bruises and shock following the crash and he was taken to the hospital to receive medical attention.
Wilkos spoke to reporters from the hospital, explaining that he usually wears glasses while driving. He didn't have them on during the Sunday afternoon drive and felt a little uncertain behind the wheel. He originally claimed he was reaching for his glasses when he hit the curb, then a telephone pole, setting off the frightening chain of events.
He also assured the outlet that he never drinks or uses drugs, so impairment of that kind played no role in the accident.
Now, Wilkos admits he lied about the cause of the crash.
"Over the course of my life, I have been struggling with bouts of depression and on the day of my accident, I had a complete lapse in judgment which resulted in me drinking and getting behind the wheel of my car,” he wrote on social media on Thursday.1comments
"This experience reinforces my commitment to get the professional help that I need and I have recently completed an intensive medically supervised program,” Wilkos added, admitting he entered and completed a stint in rehab.
“I have built a career on a commitment to help others with their personal struggles and now I am faced with my own,” he continued. “Opening up my personal life to this level has been extremely difficult for my family and me, and I ask for your support in respecting our privacy so that we can all heal and move forward. I am so sorry to my family for any grief and embarrassment I have caused.”