Mesa Councilman Ryan Winkle speaks at a press conference on May 17, 2017, about his future on the council after he was arrested on suspicion of DUI.

Mesa Councilman Ryan Winkle, who was arrested on suspicion of DUI earlier this month, is expected to announce he will take a voluntary leave of absence prior to a planned council discussion about his future.

Winkle will hold a news conference Wednesday at 4 p.m. to “discuss his status on Mesa City Council,” according to a city news release.

The council is scheduled to discuss “concerns about Ryan’s ability to carry out his responsibilities as a member of the City Council with these charges pending,” on Thursday during a 7:30 a.m. study session, according to a statement from Mayor John Giles.

Thursday’s City Council agenda shows the council also will consider Winkle’s “request for a voluntary suspension.”

Winkle, a first-time councilman elected last year, was arrested early Sunday in Tempe.

In the body-camera video of his arrest, a Tempe police officer told Winkle he watched him nearly hit three pedestrians who were crossing the street near Baseline and Kyrene roads.

In the video, Winkle is shown failing to comprehend and perform three field-sobriety tests. His wife, the sole passenger in the car, asked officers to let the couple go because of Winkle’s support for public safety.

The council’s discussion will be live streamed on and the azcentral Facebook page.


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A video shows Mesa City Councilman Ryan Winkle and his wife, Ericka Varela, after they were pulled over by Tempe police May 7, 2017 on suspicion of DUI. The Tempe Police Department blurred this video before releasing it. Hannah Gaber/

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