Prosecutor claims he was run off the road ahead of DUI arrest

Prosecutor claims he was run off the road ahead of DUI arrest
The location of 11th Circuit Solicitor Donnie Myers' crash. (Source: Jack Kuenzie)
The location of 11th Circuit Solicitor Donnie Myers' crash. (Source: Jack Kuenzie)

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Donnie Myers, the solicitor of the 11th Judicial Circuit, has been arrested by the South Carolina Highway Patrol on driving under the influence, but he claims he was run off the road by another vehicle.

Roughly a mile from Myers' home on Mooring Lane on the southern edge of Lake Murray, Highway Patrol says just before 8 p.m. Monday, Myers called for an officer to go to the intersection of Old Chapin Road and Beechcreek Road. There, troopers found a 2007 Lexus abandoned by its driver after striking a utility pole. Troopers identified the car as belonging to Myers and think he was trying to make a left turn heading toward his house and lost control.

Myers was located at his home. After interviewing Myers, troopers determined he had been driving under the influence at the time of the collision and was charged with DUI and taken to jail. A breath test at Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center revealed that Myers had a 0.09 blood alcohol content. The state limit is .08. Myers told investigators he had one drink at Uno's in Lexington, but none after the collision. An incident report said he had problems completing several sobriety tests, including being unable to say his ABCs.

Troopers say he was taken to the Richland County detention center and not Lexington County's jail since he is the chief prosecutor for that county and has been for 40 years.

According to the incident report, troopers found a pistol in the floorboard of the vehicle and a strong odor of alcohol in the car. Lt. Kelley Hughes said Myers got a ride home from someone, but did not know who. Myers also suffered no injuries from the crash.

It wasn't immediately clear if he has an attorney.

This is not Myers' first DUI charge. In 2005, he pleaded guilty to DUI and served a year probation, after being found with an open beer can in his vehicle in Asheville. He said it was not his, even though he did admit to drinking.

Also, in May 2012, he was stopped on Old Chapin Road for swerving and traveling in the middle of the road. Myers said at the time he was listening to the South Carolina baseball game. The trooper at the time spotted a cup of Scotch in his vehicle, and at the time, Myers first said it was left there by then-Senator Jake Knotts, and later said it was left by Myers' girlfriend.

Myers admitted to having drinks, but said he wouldn't be able to perform some field sobriety tests due to recent surgery. He later pleaded guilty to having an open container. In that case, he paid a fine to avoid court. 

Despite one previous conviction for a DUI offense, Myers' new charge would be considered a first offense because of the time that's passed. Monday night's charge would be a misdemeanor.

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