County man charged with DUI following wreck

Published 9:31 am Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Bryan Smith

Bryan Smith

A Carter County man escaped injury after crashing his SUV in a creek on Friday, but he was not able to avoid being arrested at the scene of the accident.
Officers of the Carter County Sheriff’s Office arrested James Smith, 36, of 2006 Ridgefield Road, Johnson City, around 7 p.m. on Friday and charged him with second offense driving under the influence.
About 10 minutes before 7 p.m. on Friday, CCSO Deputy Elbert Stevenson was dispatched to a report of a vehicle overturned in the creek at the intersection of Bristol Highway and Admiral Avenue in the Biltmore community.
When Stevenson arrived on the scene, he found a gold Toyota Highlander upside down in the creek next to Bristol Highway. The officer watched as a man, later identified as Smith, climbed out of the vehicle and up the embankment to the roadway.
Stevenson asked Smith if he was injured or needed medical help and Smith replied that he was not injured and did not want any assistance.
“I asked the driver, Mr. James Smith, how the accident occurred and he replied that he was turning right onto Bristol Highway from Admiral and did not see the ditch on the side of the road,” Stevenson said. “Mr. Smith’s speech was slurred while talking with me and he was slow to respond to questions about the accident.”
Officers administered field sobriety tests to Smith, which Stevenson said Smith performed “very poorly” on.
Stevenson then arrested Smith. A check of Smith’s driver’s license revealed he had previously been convicted of driving under the influence in 2012.
Officers transported Smith to the Carter County Detention Center.
Smith appeared in General Sessions Court on Monday morning where he was arraigned. Judge Keith Bowers set Smith’s bond at $2,500 and scheduled him to return to court on Feb. 9 with an attorney.

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