scandals

Beauty queen relinquishes crown after drunk-driving charge

Dec. 19, 2012 at 8:11 PM ET

Las Cruces Police Department /
Sarah Richardson, 22, was charged with aggravated DWI on Sunday.

A beauty queen in New Mexico has voluntarily resigned her title after driving into a light pole, knocking out power for about 1,700 customers and getting charged with aggravated DWI.

Sarah J. Richardson, 22, issued a prepared statement on Wednesday when she stepped down as Miss Las Cruces: “My actions are not congruous with the actions of a Miss America candidate, and I realize that at this time I must step back and reflect, prioritize my life and accept the consequences. I am very sincerely sorry for those that I have let down in this incident.”

According to Las Cruces police, Richardson crashed her PT Cruiser into a light pole at about 10 p.m. on Sunday. Nearby hotels reportedly had to issue refunds to uncomfortable guests who went without power late Sunday night and Monday morning.

Miss Las Cruces pageant officials released this statement on Wednesday: “Amid the recent incident that has come to light, Sarah Richardson has voluntarily resigned her title. It is the wish of the Miss Las Cruces Organization that Richardson be remembered for her service, and not be defined solely by the events of December 17.

“Taylor Rey, first runner up at our pageant on Nov. 3, has been named Miss Las Cruces and will compete at the Miss New Mexico pageant in June.”

The winner of the Miss New Mexico pageant will go on to compete for the coveted Miss America title.

Image: Miss California Carrie Prejean
Steve Marcus
They may be beautiful, but the competition can get ugly. From blackmail to sabotage, check out the underside of the pageant circuit.

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