BREAKING: Rascal Flatts’ Joe Don Rooney Pleads Guilty To DUI Charge, His Sentenced Revealed

Joe Don Rooney, the former lead guitarist for Rascal Flatts, pleaded guilty to his 2021 DUI charge on Wednesday (June…

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Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

June 2, 2022

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Joe Don Rooney, the former lead guitarist for Rascal Flatts, pleaded guilty to his 2021 DUI charge on Wednesday (June 2) in Williamson County, Tennessee.

According to The Tennessean, the country superstar was sentenced to 11 months and 29 days in prison, however, only has to serve two days behind bars as the other were suspended. 

The hitmaker’s suspended sentence requires him to report to prison on Wednesday, June 8 by 3 PM CT. 

Rascal Flatts; Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images
Rascal Flatts; Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Following his two-day imprisonment, Rooney will also be required to complete a DUI training.

Rooney’s driver’s license was also revoked as part of his sentence. The Kansas native will be able to apply for a restricted driver’s license, which would require him to own a vehicle with a built-in breathalyzer installed.

Joe Don Rooney of Rascal Flatts; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Joe Don Rooney of Rascal Flatts; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

The outlet also reported that the 45-year-old guitarist pleaded “guilty to a first-time DUI offense, a Class A misdemeanor.” The crime carries up to 11 months and 29 days of jail time, according to The Tennessean. 

On September 9, 2021, at approximately 4 AM local time, Rooney was arrested and charged with driving under the influence after he reportedly crashed his car into a tree. 

Joe Don Rooney and Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Joe Don Rooney and Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

An affidavit, obtained by TMZ, later revealed that Rooney blamed the incident on a deer crossing the road. Police, however, said that Rooney smelled of alcohol and later admitted that he had “one more” drink than he should have.   

Following his arrest, Rooney bonded out with a bond set at $2,500. 

Weeks after Rooney’s arrest, fellow Rascal Flatts band member, Gary LeVox, opened up about Rascal Flatts and revealed that he was unhappy with the trio’s demise. 

“I’ve never been okay with the way that it ended,” LeVox confessed to People. “I was never okay with…” the singer added, before pausing to think what to say next. He then revealed, “I wasn’t happy that Joe Don [Rooney] quit.”

LeVox went on to reveal that Rooney’s departure was completely unexpected. 

“It kind of came out of nowhere,” LeVox continued, referencing Rooney’s exit. “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.”

At the time, LeVox admitted he had not spoken to Rooney since his arrest.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.