VALPARAISO | A candidate for the Porter County Board of Commissioners was arrested on DUI charges early Saturday.
Michael Heinold, 45, of Morgan Township, had a blood alcohol content of 0.13 when he was stopped at 12:18 a.m. Saturday at Horse Prairie Avenue/West Morthland Drive in Valparaiso, police said.
Heinold was arrested on charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and operating while intoxicated with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher, both Class C misdemeanors, according to a report released Saturday by the Porter County Sheriff's Department. Heinold also was issued a citation for improper headlights, and his truck was impounded, police said.
Heinold, a Republican, is seeking the South District seat on the Board of Commissioners. He did not return calls for comment.
A Porter County sheriff's patrol officer observed a man driving a white, full-size truck east on U.S. 30 with only one functioning headlight, police said.
The officer began following the truck and observed the driver attempting to turn south on Horseprairie Drive, which is under construction and clearly marked as closed to southbound traffic by several large barricades, police said.
"As the driver prepared to turn south onto Horseprairie, he suddenly realized the roadway was closed and quickly discontinued his turn and continued eastbound on U.S. 30," the report stated.
After the officer pulled him over, Heinold apologized for the broken light, police said. The officer smelled a "strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from his breath," according to the report.
Heinold told the officer he had consumed beer along with Jim Beam and Coca-Cola earlier at the Franklin House but had stopped drinking two hours before driving, police said.
Heinold had watery, bloodshot eyes and slurred speech and failed two of the three field sobriety tests, police said.
Heinold, who was taken to the Porter County Jail, bonded out and has an initial court appearance before Porter Superior Court Judge Julia Jent on Jan. 7.
Heinold is facing Democratic Porter County Councilwoman Laura Blaney in the commissioner's race. They're hoping to replace outgoing Democrat Carole Knoblock.
Heinold works as director of sales at the FranklinCovey business consulting firm and is co-owner the Iddea Group information technology company. He is the son of former state Sen. Vic Heinold.
Joyce Webster, Porter County GOP chairwoman, said late Saturday that she was unaware of Heinold's arrest.
"I haven't heard anything," Webster said.