There is little doubt that many (probably most) of our Louisburg Law Blog readers have made the 57-mile drive southeast of here to Greenville. A TV station there reports that a District Court judge was recently arrested on a charge of driving while impaired (DWI).

State troopers pulled North Carolina Judge Timothy Smith over for driving erratically.

Smith says he was not driving while impaired, however, and says he has an independent test of his blood after his arrest that proves that he was not drunk when he was pulled over.

WITN reports that state troopers are “waiting for the results of their own blood test which they say will prove he was impaired on something other than alcohol.”

According to a statement from the Committee to Elect Tim Smith, the judge was on his way home from presiding over criminal court in Trenton when he was pulled over by the Highway Patrol. He consented to a blood test. A sample was then submitted for independent analysis to a drug recognition expert, who Smith says concludes that the judge was not impaired.

Smith is a District Court judge in Duplin, Onslow, Jones  and Sampson counties.

Troopers conducted a standard investigation of an impaired driver, they said, which included a field sobriety test. The test results apparently resulted in the troopers’ belief that the judge was impaired on a substance that was not alcohol.

As most of our readers know, there are five levels of misdemeanor DWI charges in North Carolina:

  • Level I: if convicted, a person faces a jail sentence of 30 days up to two years. (A judge cannot suspend the minimum sentence.)
  • Level II: A minimum of seven days in jail and a maximum of one year. Again, a judge can’t suspend the minimum.
  • Level III: The minimum sentence is three days behind bars, while the max is six months. In these cases, the minimum can be suspended in certain situations.
  • Level IV: Minimum is 48 hours and the maximum is four months in jail. Minimums can be eligible for suspension.
  • Level V: A minimum 24-hour jail sentence and a max of 60 days. The minimum sentence can be suspended by a judge.

If you face any of North Carolina’s harsh DWI/DUI penalties, contact a Louisburg attorney experienced in effective defense in drunk driving and drugged driving cases.