Jeff Hardy, the 44-year-old professional wrestler and musician with a storied career and a few previous arrests was arrested again today on a felony charge of drunk driving and driving on a revoked license. He was on I-95 in Volusia County when Florida Highway Patrol trooper Zach Steiner pulled him over.
Hardy, of Cameron, N.C., was booked at the Volusia Branch jail. The DUI charge is a third-degree felony because it’s his third DUI charge within 10 years. His last drunk driving arrest was in Moore County, N.C., in 2019. He also pleaded guilty to drug charges over a decade ago and served 10 days in jail and over two years on probation.
Steiner reported responding to reports of an impaired driver driving a white Dodge Charger “that was swerving all over the roadway, failing to maintain their lane, and running off the roadway in the area of Interstate 4” at mile marker 109, Steiner wrote in Hardy’s arrest report. By then four callers had reached 911 to alert authorities of the vehicle’s seemingly dangerous driving patterns.
Steiner caught up with Hardy as he was merging onto I-95 to go north. “I observed the vehicle to be traveling significantly under the speed limit, weaving across travel lanes, and running off the shoulder of the roadway,” Steiner reported. He tried pulling Hardy over. Hardy at first did not, then took the shoulder at mile marker 262. Hardy was alone in the vehicle. He was “reaching into a black backpack on the passenger seat” when Steiner approached him, the trooper reported.
“I issued loud verbal commands for the driver to take his hands out of the bag to which he did not respond,” Steiner wrote. “I proceeded to slap the passenger window to gain his attention which was also unsuccessful. The driver appeared to be in a stupor and confused.” Hardy complied with an order to place his hands on the steering wheel, but fumbled when he tried to place the Dodge in park before letting go of the brakes. The car rolled. Hardy slammed the brakes and this time managed to lock the car in park.
Then Steiner asked him to unlock the door. Unsuccessful. When the trooper managed to get Hardy out of the car, he “appeared to be unsteady on his feet, displayed orbital sway, reeked of the odor of an alcoholic beverage, and was confused.” But he conceded that he’d been drinking.
It was then that Steiner, from Hardy’s North Carolina driver’s license, learned the identity of the swaying 6-foot, 215-pound All Elite Wrestling star, and that his driver’s license had been suspended, with two DUI convictions–in March 2018 and October 2019. He was also required to have an interlock device on his car. He did not.
Hardy agreed to perform field sobriety exercises. His “performance on the exercises provided more than enough clues necessary to affect an arrest for the offense of DUI,” Steiner wrote. Unable to keep his balance, he essentially failed all exercises. He was taken to the Florida Highway Patrol’s DeLand office, where he volunteered two breath samples. They registered 0.294 and 0.291 blood-alcohol level–levels at which loss of consciousness and alcohol poisoning are possible. The legal limit in Florida is 0.08.
Hardy is along the more successful wrestling champions of the era, with a long list of championships to his credit. He is credited with several albums.