Frankfort, KY-Kentucky’s legislative session started Tuesday, and shortly after lawmakers convened, one Republican Senator found himself on the wrong side of the law.
WKYT reports that Senator Brandon Smith (R- Hazard) was pulled over by police Tuesday night just after 9 p.m. According to the Kentucky State Police, Smith was driving 65 mph in a 45 mph zone but once the officer approached the car, he noticed the odor of alcohol coming from the Senator’s vehicle.
In his complaint, the trooper noted that Smith had watery, bloodshot eyes and failed several field sobriety tests. The compliant states that Smith initially denied drinking any alcohol and blamed the odor on the passengers he had in the car, according to the State-Journal.
The trooper said in his report that after Smith registered a .088 on a preliminary breath test, he admitted to drinking earlier that day, the State-Journal reported. Smith was booked into the Franklin County jail, but was out in time to make it to the Senate floor Wednesday.
Smith refused to submit to a breathalyzer so he was charged with DUI-first offense with aggravating circumstances. He was also charged with speeding 20 miles over the speed limit.
In a comment to WKYT, Smith said “there are two sides to every story,” but didn’t want to get into any detail about the arrests upon advisement of his attorney.
Whether you are a Senator or a regular Joe (or Jane), if you are facing a DUI charge, you need to have a DUI attorney on your side, building a solid defense on your behalf.
Last week, police in South Carolina arrested and charged Berkeley County Sheriff H. Wayne DeWitt with driving under the influence after he caused an accident and fled the scene. The victim suffered only minor injuries.
Police eventually caught up with DeWitt he failed field sobriety test and refused to submit to a breathalyzer. He was charged DUI and fleeing the scene of an accident.
The media and the public focus on incidents like this one because they hold lawmakers and law enforcement up to a higher standard than themselves. Since they make or enforce the laws, it’s only natural people expect them to follow the law, but they make mistakes just like the rest of us. A mistake like driving under the influence has implications that go beyond sentencing, such a charge can affect your education and job.
It’s too soon to tell if their DUI arrest will impact their Sheriff’s or the Senator’s jobs. Some law enforcement agencies have a zero-tolerance policy towards drunken driving, but many don’t. Whether or not a DUI conviction will affect your job is a hit or miss situation, but it is a risk you should take pains to avoid. When you have a DUI attorney working on your case, you may be able prevent conviction altogether. If that’s not possible, your attorney may be able to get your charges reduced and/or plead for leniency on your behalf.