Austin Smith arrested after asking officers to test him - - Columbia, South Carolina |

SC House candidate arrested after asking officers to test him for alcohol

Posted: Updated:
Austin Smith's booking photo from the July underage drinking arrest. (Source: Florence County Detention Center) Austin Smith's booking photo from the July underage drinking arrest. (Source: Florence County Detention Center)

FLORENCE, SC (WIS) - A candidate for a South Carolina House of Representatives seat has been arrested for the second time in three months on alcohol charges, but this time he asked for officers to test him to see if he could drive home safely from a nightclub.

21-year-old Austin Smith, Democratic candidate for SC House District 63, was taken into custody on Friday after an incident at the Taboo Bar on Second Loop Road in Florence.

According to a City of Florence Police Department incident report, officers responded to the establishment to investigate a fight in the parking lot. When police arrived, the people involved in the fight had left the area.

Smith, who had apparently been drinking for almost 12 hours, approached officers to ask why they were there. The officers advised Smith to return to the bar.

Instead of going inside, Smith, according to the report, requested a field sobriety test or breath test so that he could drive home safely. Officers refused and asked Smith to go back inside or take a taxi home, investigators said.

According to police, Smith demanded the officers answer his questions because they are public servants and he pays their salaries. At that point, officers approached Smith and detected a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, the report states.

Smith, whose speech was slurred and eyes were glassy and bloodshot, refused to comply with officer's orders to return to the club or to take a taxi home, according to the report.

He was placed under arrest for public drunk and transported to jail.

While inside the jail's sally port, Smith reiterated to officers that he was asking for a sobriety test because he was drinking and did not want to drive. He also told officers that he was heavily intoxicated and that this was his typical routine for Thursdays, the report stated.

He bonded out of jail Monday morning.

This is not his first alcohol-related arrest. Smith, aged 20 at the time, was arrested for underage drinking in July.

Smith is running against incumbent Kris Crawford (R-Florence).

Copyright 2012 WIS. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow