Former Rascal Flatts guitarist Joe Don Rooney pleads guilty to DUI

Rascal Flatts guitarist and singer Joe Don Rooney pleaded guilty to DUI, settling a case that goes back to his arrest in September of 2021.  The 46-year-old musician pleaded guilty to a first-time DUI in a courtroom in Williamson County, Tenn.  The Class A misdemeanor includes up to 11 months and 29 days of jail time, but Rooney will serve just two days in jail, with the remaining 11 months and 27 days of his sentence suspended.

Rooney was arrested for DUI on Sept. 9, 2021, after an officer from the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene of a single-car crash near Fieldstone Park, located just north of Franklin, Tenn; Rooney had crashed his vehicle into a tree.  Rooney was booked into the Williamson County jail around 7:20AM local time and was released on $2,500 bond at about 10:17AM that morning. In an affidavit, Rooney told police he had been golfing earlier and went to a friend’s house for drinks afterward, admitting he had “one more than I should have.” He said that a deer ran in front of his vehicle, causing him to swerve and hit the tree. The police report noted that Rooney smelled like alcohol and failed multiple field sobriety tests.

Rooney is slated to report to jail by 3PM on June 8 to serve his 48 hours, and he’ll also complete a mandatory alcohol awareness program. He will lose his driver’s license as part of his sentence, but Rooney will be eligible to apply for a restricted license as long as he installs a breathalyzer device in his vehicle.

Editorial credit: Debby Wong /