The Rascal Flatts guitarist was arrested following a motor vehicle crash shortly after 4 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 9 in Nashville, Tennessee.
According to an affidavit, police said Rooney informed them he was driving his BMW during the early morning hours when a deer ran out in front of his car, TMZ reported.
The 46-year-old said he veered off of the road to avoid hitting the deer, causing him to crash into trees. Police, however, said he smelled of alcohol and that he admitted to having “one more than I should have” while at a friend’s house for drinks.
Rooney also told police he played golf earlier in the day. Police said in the docs that they conducted multiple field sobriety tests, which he failed. He was arrested for DUI and booked into the Williamson County Jail. He was later released after posting a $2,500 bond.
Joe Don Rooney – lead guitarist for the wildly popular country music band Rascal Flatts – has been charged with driving under the influence after he ran his vehicle into a tree line in Nashville, Tenn. (Williamson County Sheriff)
Last week, his former bandmate Gary LeVox claimed he hasn’t spoken to Rooney recently, but was “heartbroken” to hear the news of his arrest.
“But you know what? I think God gets your attention in different ways. I just wish him the best, and I hope he gets everything that he needs to get well and take care of whatever issues he’s got going on. There’s power in prayer,” LeVox said.
In the same interview with People, LeVox opened up about Rascal Flatts’ demise. The country trio, made up of LeVox, Rooney and Jay DeMarcus, are known for chart-topping hits like “Bless the Broken Road,” “My Wish,” and “What Hurts the Most.” But things got complicated in 2020 when the three appeared on “CBS This Morning” to announce they’d be going on a farewell tour titled “Rascal Flatts Farewell: Life Is A Highway Tour.”
Rooney’s bandmate Gary LeVox recently said he was ‘heartbroken’ to hear about his arrest. (Terry Wyatt)
The tour never kicked off due to the coronavirus pandemic. Rooney also quit unexpectedly, LeVox said.
“I wasn’t happy that Joe Don quit,” he revealed, adding that his bandmate’s departure “kind of came out of nowhere.”
Rascal Flatts singer Gary Levox, middle, said he’s still trying to wrap his head around the band’s split. (Terry Wyatt)
“It was like, ‘Let me try to wrap my head around this.’ And then I certainly wasn’t okay with the pandemic, which canceled everything. I hate the way that it ended. I hate that we didn’t get to do this farewell tour. I can’t stand the fact that it just feels there’s no closure with something that we’ve been so blessed with. That will always be in my heart.”