Columbia police officers arrested a state representative Thursday for driving under the influence of alcohol and the unlawful carrying of a pistol after he was stopped for speeding.
S.C. Rep. Ted Vick, D-Chesterfield, was released from the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on personal recognizance bonds for the charges. He also was given a ticket for speeding.
Vick, 39, is one of several candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for South Carolina’s new 7th congressional seat. That primary is scheduled for June 12.
Vick was stopped at 1:12 a.m. Thursday on Devine Street by a Columbia police officer who had pulled him over for driving 44 mph in a 30-mph zone, according to a Columbia Police Department report. The officer smelled alcohol, but Vick refused to take a field sobriety test or a breath test, the report said.
When Vick was taken to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, a jail officer discovered a Kel-Tec .380-caliber pistol in his front pocket. He had not notified officers that he was carrying a gun, and a concealed-weapons permit in his wallet had expired in 2007, the report said.
A 21-year-old woman who recently graduated from USC was in Vick’s car. She was not charged in the incident.
She told police the two had met at Delaney’s Pub in Five Points, where they had a few drinks, according to the report. The two continued drinking at Jake’s Bar and Grill. Vick had offered to give her a ride home, the report said.
Vick’s attorney, Pete Strom, reiterated that Vick was merely giving the girl a ride home. Vick will not automatically be suspended from the Legislature because the charges are misdemeanors, Strom said.
Vick has served in the House since 2005. He is married with two daughters and is a lieutenant colonel in the S.C. Army National Guard and a minister, according to his campaign website.
Col. Pete Brooks, a spokesman for the S.C. National Guard, said the arrest would not have an immediate impact on Vick’s military career because it did not have a connection to his service and he was not on duty when it happened.
“It all depends on what the civilian authorities wind up doing,” Brooks said.
Vick has no prior arrests, according to State Law Enforcement Division records.
He was considered the Democratic frontrunner in June’s primary and was the leading Democratic fundraiser. His campaign spokesman, Lachlan McIntosh, would not comment about the arrest.
Vick is not the first hopeful running for the seat to face legal troubles. Former S.C. Rep. Thad Viers, R-Horry, dropped out of the race and resigned his state House of Representatives seat after he was arrested and indicted on harassment charges in March. Viers is accused of harassing an ex-girlfriend in Myrtle Beach.