State senator wants DUI charge dismissed based on 1891 rule

Senator Brandon Smith

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - A Kentucky state senator charged with driving under the influence wants the charges dismissed citing a century-old rule that state lawmakers are "privileged from arrest" during legislative sessions.

In court Wednesday, a judge delayed Sen. Brandon Smith's arraignment after his attorney filed the request.

The motion is based on Section 43 in the state constitution which was added in 1891.

"The members of the General Assembly shall, in all cases except treason, felony, breach or surety of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance on the sessions of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either House they shall not be questioned in any other place," reads the section.

The Republican senator was arrested earlier this month, on the first day of the legislative session in Frankfort.

Kentucky State Police say he was speeding and smelled of alcohol during a traffic stop.

A judge agreed to consider the motion and delayed the case.

Smith, who is from Hazard, represents Senate District 30, which covers much of southeastern Kentucky.

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