Crime & Courts

Lexington County deputy suspended after refusing Breathalyzer, sheriff’s office says

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A Lexington County sheriff’s deputy is off the job after he was charged with driving under the influence, according to the sheriff’s department.

Police arrested Robert Scott Smith, an officer with Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, Friday night after he hit another vehicle while trying to change lanes near mile marker 97 on Interstate 26, the Sheriff’s Department said in an emailed news release.

Smith was driving his personal vehicle and was off duty, the Sheriff’s Department statement said. No one was injured.

A South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper gave Smith a field sobriety test and he failed. Smith refused to take a Breathalyzer, the department said.

Mile marker 97 is in the White Rock and Ballentine area near Lake Murray.

Smith was booked at Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Richland County. On Saturday, Judge Roger Myers allowed Smith out of jail without paying a bond, court records show.

The charge is Smith’s first alleged DUI offense, records say. He was charged with having a blood alcohol concentration of less than 0.10% in his system.

The sheriff’s department said it has placed Smith on paid administrative leave.

Smith, 57, started with the Lexington sheriff’s department in 1982, a spokesperson for the agency said.

David Travis Bland won the South Carolina Press Association’s 2017 Judson Chapman Award for community journalism. As The State’s crime, police and public safety reporter, he strives to inform communities about crimes that affect them and give deeper insight into victims, the accused and law enforcement. He studied history with a focus on the American South at the University of South Carolina.