Hazard senator charged with DUI on session’s first day;
Accusations that he was driving drunk in Franklin County on the opening day of the legislative session landed Kentucky Senator Brandon Smith, R-Hazard, behind bars Tuesday night.
Kentucky State Police troopers arrested the 47-year-old just after 9 p.m. Tuesday, charging him with DUI and speeding 20 mph over the limit.
According to the citation, the trooper stopped Smith’s truck on Village Drive after he was seen driving 65 mph in a 45 mph zone on Leestown Road, near the intersection with Copperleaf Boulevard.
“Upon contact with the operator I could smell the presence of an alcoholic beverage emitting from his breath,” the trooper wrote. “(Smith) stated he had people in the vehicle that had been drinking but not him.
“(Smith) had watery, bloodshot eyes.”
The citation goes on to describe several failed field sobriety tests and said Smith blew a .088 on a preliminary breath test. After the test, Smith allegedly changed his story and said he had consumed alcohol around 3 p.m.
Once he was taken to the Franklin County Regional Jail, he allegedly refused to take an official breath test.
Jail records confirm he has since bonded out.
According to Legislative Research Commission records, Smith served in the state House of Representatives from 2001 to 2008, when he began serving in the Senate. He represents District 30, including Bell, Breathitt, Johnson, Leslie, Magoffin and Perry counties.
He is on several committees, including his position as the vice chair of the Transportation Committee. That committee’s jurisdiction includes the state police and traffic regulations.
His bio lists him as the owner of Mohawk Energy and a District Commissioner of the Boy Scouts of America.
By Kristina Belcher
Frankfort State Journal