County commissioner pleads to North Carolina DWI charge
Rowan County Commissioner appeared in court Monday and entered a guilty plea to his DWI charge. The allegations arose May 8 when police accused the man of drunk driving after a car accident. The county commissioner refused to submit to a breath test. Law enforcement reportedly took the man to Rowan Regional Medical Center for a forced blood draw.
The accused reportedly had a prior DWI conviction on his record from 2008. He reportedly entered into a negotiated plea agreement with prosecutors. The Rowan County District Attorney’s office agreed to dismiss charges for driving left of center and failing to maintain control in the plea agreement.
A visiting judge from Guilford County presided at the hearing Monday. Local judges know or are familiar with the commissioner, so a visiting judge heard the case. Prosecutors sought jail time at sentencing. The prosecutor argued the commissioner had a prior conviction, was in a car accident and measured 0.21 percent BAC after the crash.
The accused has been attending inpatient treatment for alcohol. The judge ultimately rejected the prosecutor’s request for jail. The judge gave the commissioner credit for the inpatient treatment and sentenced the commissioner to two years of unsupervised probation for the DWI conviction. The man was also fined ,000. The judge said the fine was higher than he normally would impose. The judge said the elected county official should be held to a higher standard of behavior than other North Carolina residents. The commissioner will be subjected to a psychological assessment as a part of the sentence.
The judge ordered the man to surrender his driver’s license. Greenville DWI defense attorneys are aware that license suspension or revocations can occur in relation to DWI charges in the state.
Source: Salisbury Post, “Barber sentenced on DWI charge,” Shavonne Potts, Aug. 16, 2011