Rascal Flatts’ Joe Don Rooney talks DUI and sobriety

Former Rascal Flatts guitarist Joe Don Rooney had a lot to say upon his return to X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday (almost 4,000 characters) about his battle with addiction and his road to recovery.

The 48-year-old musician, who was active on Twitter two years ago, began his long post apologizing to fans for his inactivity on social media. With a new year marking a new chapter, Rooney said it seemed like a “good day to send a message to the world”.

“First of all, I’m alive!” Ronney said, before dispelling rumors that she was “transitioning to be a woman.” Instead, the “Life Is a Highway” rocker revealed that he almost took his own life on September 9, 2021 in a drunk driving incident.

The Grammy-nominated musician was arrested and charged with driving under the influence after he crashed his car into a tree line near Nashville, according to a 2021 Fox News report.

“I was completely out of control and ended up trying to fight the fears, depression and anxieties that had left me out of control in a way I had never experienced before,” she said. “My drinking had been a problem for many years and, as they say in AA and in its treatment, it is a progressive disease.”

Rooney said the combination of work, family life and overcoming the “pain and trauma” of his childhood and early adult years had “become too much to bear.” He added that she was not a “good” presence for his three children, his wife and his band, a revelation he said he would not have realized without the 2021 crash.

The guitarist crashed his car more than a year after Rascal Flatts, which also features Gary LeVox and Jay DeMarcus, announced their final tour, which was canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the group also reportedly disbanded and Rooney filed for divorce from his wife Tiffany Fallon.

After a controversial legal battle that included accusations of infidelity, Rooney and Fallon finalized their separation in December 2023. They have three children: Jagger, Raquel and Devon.

In his tweet, Rooney praised God for the wake-up call and shared details about his sober efforts, which began with four months of treatment at a Utah facility. Now, Rooney said: “My life has changed forever and I am grateful for this change.”

On January 13, Rooney said he will be sober for 28 months. The musician also praised his family and his clinical advisors for helping him “get my life back.” This year, Rooney said he seeks to “protect my family and protect my sobriety.”

His letter concluded with his intentions to spread positivity and love to others, including his followers on social media.

“Thank you for all the love, support and prayers. I promise you, I have felt them all and I am so grateful,” she wrote. “Here’s to making the most of 2024 and living our healthiest, happiest, most goal-oriented lives!!”

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