All contestants in the annual event are required to sign a contract in which they promise that they have no criminal charges pending against them.
Sarah Gafvert, 21, signed the form to enter the competition prior to her September 26 arrest, and she had informed pageant organizers about the incident before she was crowned last Sunday, according to her attorney, Bo Morton.
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Embarrassing: University of Arkansas senior Sarah Gafvert was arrested for DUI and driving with an expired license a few weeks before winning a student-organized beauty pageant
American beauty: Gafvert, pictured in her Miss University of Arkansas crown, won the pageant on Sunday
Royal court: Gafvert, center, pictured with Princess Miss U of A, left, and Little Miss U of A
The Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant Inc had 'validated that, according to the Miss America Organization, Sarah Gafvert was deemed eligible to compete in the 2013 Miss University of Arkansas pageant,' it said in a statement cited by ABC News.
The pageant is not a university-sponsored event, but winners become ambassadors of the school and go on to compete in city and state beauty contests.
During the pageant, Gafvert ran on a platform of breast cancer prevention and performed the song 'Let Me Be Your Star' for the talent portion of the competition. She is scheduled to take part in the 2013 Miss Arkansas pageant.
The senior was pulled over at East Rockwood Trail and North Sequoya Drive at around 2am on September 26 after failing to use her turn signal and swerving within her lane, according to a police report.
Sobriety test: An officer administered a battery of tests to Gafvert, making her walk a straight line, left, and checking her coordination, right
Tell-tale sign: A Breathalyzer test showed that Gafvert's blood alcohol level was at 0.13, or nearly twice the legal limit
Coming clean: Gafvert said she informed pageant organizers about her arrest and was cleared to take part in the event
An officer observed that Gafvert had bloodshot and watery eyes, slurred speech, and there was a smell of alcohol inside her Mercedes. According to the report, she was also driving on an expired license.
In a dash-cam video obtained by the station KHOG, the blonde could be heard telling the arresting officer that she has Type I diabetes. Gafvert was diagnosed with the condition shortly before the incident, according to her lawyer.
The 21-year-old also informed the officer that she had two drinks earlier that evening.
'I have Type I diabetes. My blood sugar is really low, and I'm just trying to get home,' Gafvert says on tape.
The officer administered to her a field sobriety test during which the 21-year-old had uneven balance. A Breathalyzer test revealed that Gafvert had 0.13 blood alcohol level, which is almost twice the legal limit.
‘I would do anything to not have a DWI. Is there nothing?’ Gafvert is heard saying before being placed in a police car.
Multi-talented: Gafvert, pictured in her pink sparkly pageant gown, ran on a platform of breast cancer prevention and performed the song 'Let Me Be Your Star'
Role model: Gafvert's attorney said the 21-year-old, left, graduated high school as a valedictorian with a 4.0 average and has an impeccable character
‘No, ma'am. I don't have much discretion with something like this,’ the officer responds. ‘I'm not going to sugar coat it. That's just what it is.’
Gafvert then was booked into the Washington County Detention Center and released that same day on a $1,200 bond. Two days later, she pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of driving while intoxicated, having an expired drivers license, having an expired vehicle license and failure to use a signal device, KFSM reported.
Gafvert's attorney described his client as a role model of ‘flawless’ character who graduated from high school as a valedictorian with a 4.0 grade point average and a long list of extracurricular activities to her name.
She also received the Overall Community Service Award at the Miss University of Arkansas pageant, he said.
The senior is expected to be arraigned on Monday. Morton said he wants the case to go to trial because his believes that Gafvert’s diabetes affected the results of her failed sobriety test.
Morton said Gafvert has no intention of relinquishing her Miss University of Arkansas crown. Meanwhile, Toni Bahn, pageant co-executive director, said officials are looking into the incident.
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