CREVE COEUR — Sports broadcaster Dan McLaughlin, the television voice of the St. Louis Cardinals, was charged on Monday with a felony count of “persistent” driving while intoxicated. It is at least his third DWI arrest.
A Creve Coeur police officer arrested McLaughlin around 6:30 p.m. Sunday on Interstate 270 near Ladue Road. He had slurred speech, glassy eyes, “intoxicants” on his breath and performed poorly on a field sobriety test, the officer said in court records.
Prior to the arrest, police said they got at least two calls about a white BMW, which was the vehicle make and model McLaughlin was driving. One person reported that the car was driving in an S pattern on Ladue and, at times, into oncoming traffic. A homeowner also called police and said a man in a white BMW was parked outside his house, “not making sense” and appeared intoxicated.
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McLaughlin, reached on Monday night, said he was “deeply remorseful” for his actions Sunday.
“No excuses,” McLaughlin wrote in a text message. “I’m dealing with this and seeking the treatment that I need. I ask for your privacy for me and my family.”
A statement released late Monday by Bally Sports and the Cardinals said, “We have been made aware that Dan McLaughlin was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated on Sunday night.. We are very disappointed to hear this, and are working to gather additional information before offering further comment."
McLaughlin, 48, has been a fixture of St. Louis broadcasting for decades. He has called St. Louis University and Missouri Valley Conference basketball game telecasts and served as a play-by-play announcer for the NFL. But he is most well known for his work with the Cardinals, where he’s done play-by-play for televised games for 24 years. This season, he was part of the top-rated local telecast crew in the country.
He also has been vocal about his struggles with alcohol. In 2011, he was pulled over for DWI in Chesterfield, his second drunk driving charge within 13 months. Months after, he talked about them in an exclusive interview with the Post-Dispatch about his difficulties and his plans to recover.
He received two years probation for his first charge, in 2010. His 2011 sentence was not immediately clear.
After his second arrest, he was suspended indefinitely by Fox Sports Midwest, his employer then for the Cardinals telecasts, and by KMOX (1120 AM), where he had been working part time as a sportscaster.
But months later, both companies reinstated him.
“This is as last-chance as it gets, absolutely,” McLaughlin said then.
The charge filed Monday against McLaughlin, for persistent driving while intoxicated, is a Class E felony, which carries maximum sentence of four years in prison if found guilty.
The arresting officer noted McLaughlin was a danger to the community because of his two previous DWI convictions.
McLaughlin’s next court date is set for February, court records show, and his bond is set at $25,000.
Ben Frederickson of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.