Watson was arrested in East Haven, Conn., Friday night after he was stopped at a sobriety checkpoint but was cleared when a breath test administered at a police station indicated he had a blood alcohol level of less than 0.08 percent, the legal limit, The Providence (R.I.) Journal reported Monday.
Watson, a Republican, said in a statement he was in Connecticut to help a friend move and was returning home when he was stopped at a sobriety checkpoint conducted by local police for all traffic.
"While confident I was a safe and sober operator, trace evidence of marijuana was discovered and I was charged with operating under the influence, a charge I vehemently deny. A subsequent breathalyzer test at the station showed that I was well below the legal limit of .08. I was processed and released within an hour," Watson said in his statement.
"Because of the position I hold within the community as an elected official and as an attorney, I recognize that my personal issue will have to be dealt with publicly and in the court of public opinion," Watson said. "At the proper time I look forward to the opportunity to explain and comment further."