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VALPARAISO — An FBI agent arrested on drunken driving charges in Chesterton last month pleaded guilty in court Wednesday morning.

Robert J. Ramsey, 53, of Valparaiso, admitted in court he had been drinking in Michigan City prior to being arrested June 23 at a Speedway gas station in Chesterton. His plea agreement on a single count of misdemeanor driving while intoxicated was accepted.

His attorney, Andrew Spica, of Portage, told Superior Court Judge David Chidester the incident was an "uncharacteristic lapse of judgment" on Ramsey's behalf and that he "faces serious personal and professional consequences" due to his actions that day. Ramsey is a supervisory agent in the FBI's Merrillville office.

A witness reportedly told police he saw Ramsey and a woman at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Speedway gas station at 752 Indian Boundary Road, "walking in an unsafe fashion, almost falling down and steadying themselves on the walls of the building."

He then, according to the witness, attempted to drive off with both the driver and passenger side doors open.

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Spica told the court that Ramsey has since "sworn off alcohol" and begun counseling.

The agreement included a $500 fine, which was suspended. A 60-day jail term was suspended, and he will serve 180 days on probation, serve five days of community service, participate on an impact panel and seek counseling.

A 60-day suspension of his driver's license was also stayed in lieu of granting specialized driving privileges for 180 days which will allow Ramsey to drive a work vehicle to and from work and for court-ordered purposes.

(Editor's note: This story was edited from its original version.)

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Porter County Reporter

Joyce has been a reporter for nearly 40 years, including 23 years with The Times. She's a native of Merrillville, but has lived in Portage for 39 years. She covers municipal and school government in Porter County.