Attorney: Lawmaker Can't Be Charged with DUI During Session

Jan 23, 2015

Prosecutors should dismiss DUI charges against state Sen. Brandon Smith because the state constitution prohibits lawmakers from being arrested during the legislative session, Smith's attorney argued in court papers filed Thursday.

Smith, a Republican from Hazard, was arrested and charged with DUI on Jan. 6, the first day of the 2015 legislative session. According to a citation filed in Franklin County Circuit Court, Smith blew a .088 in a portable breath test. A person is presumed drunk when the alcohol to blood ratio is .08 and above.

Attorney Bill Johnson has filed a motion for the charges to be dismissed because section 43 of the Kentucky Constitution says lawmakers cannot be arrested when the legislature is in session or when they are traveling to and from the Capitol. A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 12.