Politics
State Sen. Brandon Smith, leftRae Hodge | wfpl.org

State Sen. Brandon Smith, left

FRANKFORT — Kentucky State Police arrested state Sen. Brandon Smith, R-Hazard, on Tuesday night on charges of driving under the influence.

Smith was initially stopped Tuesday night for speeding, but was later charged with driving under the influence, according to the Associated Press.

The AP adds:

Smith blew a .088 in a portable breath test, according to a citation filed with Franklin County Circuit Court and obtained by The Courier-Journal.

The legal blood-alcohol limit in Kentucky is .08. The citation indicated that Smith later refused a request to take a follow-up breath test.

Smith spoke to reporters Wednesday morning as he reported for duty in the state Capitol.

“It’s unfortunate. I know you guys have questions and trust me I want to talk, but I have to trust that the system is going to work,” Smith said.

“I have a guy that’s helped me go through all the legal side of it and he says that it’s the best thing to do is be quiet. And it’s difficult because I don’t mind sharing the story about what happened, and I think everybody knows there’s always two sides of a story. I don’t think anybody out there that believes that there’s not.”

Smith, who says there were no passengers in the vehicle, is confident that the arrest will not cause problems in his party, nor affect his ability to work in the legislature.

“I’ve never been arrested in my whole life,” he told reporters. “I’ve never had any kind of trouble, and you just can’t all the sudden change overnight. My district knows me, my neighbors know me. I’ve coached so many of the kids. So if it was sort of a pattern here I could see that, but people know us and they know what kind of legislators we are. And our records in here on the floor speak louder than anything we say out here on camera.”

Smith serves Senate District 30, which includes parts of Bell, Breathitt, Johnson, Leslie, Magoffin, and Perry counties.