Del. Jason Buckel, the top Republican in Maryland’s House of Delegates, has been charged with driving under the influence and other offenses, according to court records.

Buckel was stopped by Maryland State Police Thursday night on U.S. Route 40 near Campground Road in La Vale in Allegany County, less than two miles from his home, according to court records.

He was charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol, driving while impaired by alcohol, driving on a suspended license, negligent driving and failure to display vehicle registration to a law enforcement officer.

Buckel said in a statement that he had gone to a local restaurant to watch a hockey game but “did not over consume any alcoholic beverages on the night in question, particularly as I had not been feeling well earlier in the afternoon and had taken some over the counter medication.”

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Buckel said he was not speeding or driving erratically “in any way” when he was pulled over.

“I will trust the legal system as to the resolution of the matter or the rationale for the stop, but I have confidence that the matter would hopefully be resolved favorably,” his statement read.

Buckel said he regrets the incident. “I’ve made my fair share of mistakes. I’ve learned a great lesson that neither I nor anyone else should consume any alcoholic beverages, regardless of amount or intention, if needing to drive a vehicle a reasonable time thereafter,” he said.

A trial is scheduled for July 24 in Allegany County District Court.

Buckel is a lawyer and also serves as the House minority leader and on the Ways and Means Committee, which handles legislation related to taxes, education, elections, gambling, and youth and family issues. He was first elected to the House in 2014.

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In December 2021, a state trooper who was in a relationship with Buckel’s now-ex-wife filed charges of criminal harassment against the delegate that were quickly dropped by prosecutors. The man who filed charges had alleged that Buckel had sent aggressive online messages. But the two reached an agreement in which the trooper dropped his pursuit of charges, while Buckel agreed not to seek any action against the trooper.