Disney Star Debby Ryan Apologizes For DUI Arrest

By McCarton Ackerman 04/14/16

The Jessie actress was arrested after failing a field sobriety test in Los Angeles last week.

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Disney Star Debby Ryan Apologizes For DUI Arrest
Photo via Shutterstock/Helga Esteb

Since being arrested for a felony DUI last week, Disney star Debby Ryan has apologized for her actions, issuing a statement to her fans on Twitter.

TMZ reported on Wednesday that the star of the Disney Channel series, Jessie, was arrested last week in Los Angeles after crashing her car into a Mercedes, allegedly injuring the driver. When police arrived on the scene, the 22-year-old reportedly failed a field sobriety test and was initially charged with felony DUI, which is standard practice when an injury occurs in a drunk-driving incident.

Authorities ultimately reduced the charge to a misdemeanor because the driver’s injury was deemed minor and Ryan had blown a .11, which was not significantly over the .08 legal limit. That brings her to two misdemeanor charges: driving under the influence and driving with a .08 blood alcohol level or higher. She has since been released on $100,000 bail.

The actress expressed regret for her actions in a tweet on Wednesday afternoon. “Over the last few days I have had the chance to think about my actions, and I wish I had used better judgement,” she wrote. “I recognize that I am a role model and have always worked hard to set a good example for my millions of fans. I am so sorry to disappoint everyone.”

Unsurprisingly, her statement drew mixed reactions from the "Twittersphere." Some of her fans appreciated her apology; one fan wrote, “You’re a human being, you make mistakes and you’re learning them. We love you so much, you’re not less of a role model than before.” But others were less sympathetic: “I’m not gonna condone anything you did like these sheep. People die REGULARLY from drinking and driving. Pull your shit together.”

Several other Disney stars have made headlines this year for their issues with substance abuse. Last February, former That’s So Raven actor Orlando Brown was arrested on a slew of charges including drug possession with intent to sell and misdemeanor domestic battery. And earlier this month, the December 2015 death of former Mickey Mouse Club member Marque “Tate” Lynch was ruled to be a result of “acute and chronic alcoholism.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.