FRANKFORT, Ky. - (WKYT) - Just hours after the 2015 legislative session began, police arrested a Kentucky state senator. Police charged Senator Brandon Smith with DUI after a traffic stop in Frankfort.
Smith, a Republican, represents the 30th District in southeastern Kentucky.
A house representative for seven years and a state senator for the past six -- Senator Brandon Smith has made headlines for his views on climate change and energy but Tuesday’s incident now has him making headlines for something else.
Smith was arrested just after 9pm Tuesday night and Kentucky State Police say they initially stopped him for driving 65 mph in a 45 mph zone on Leestown Road in Frankfort. When the trooper approached Smith's car, the trooper says he immediately smelled alcohol on Smith's breath.
Smith was back at work Wednesday where we caught up with him after the senate session to try and get his side.
“There are two sides to every story,” said Senator Smith. “I’ve never been arrested my whole life, I’ve never been in any kind of trouble. You just can't all of the sudden change overnight.”
Although he acknowledged the incident, his attorney advised him to stay quiet.
“Stuff like this is sensational and it makes news. It’s not very comfortable for our families but we don’t really get to choose that,” Smith explained. “I have a guy who is going to help me go through the legal side of it and says that the best thing to do is to be quiet and it’s difficult.”
Smith spoke with us for about five minutes and he finished up the conversation by saying that an incident like this one shouldn’t overshadow his entire career.
“If there was some sort of a pattern here it’d be different but people know us. They know what kind of legislatures we are and records here on the floor speak louder than anything heard on camera.”
Smith was cited for speeding (20 mph over speed limit) and charged with first-offense DUI, Webb said. The DUI offense was aggravated because he refused the breathalyzer, Webb said.
Senator Smith serves the 30th District which includes Bell, Breathitt, Johnson, Leslie, Magoffin and Perry Counties. He is on multiple committees, including Appropriations & Revenue and Natural Resources & Energy. He is the vice chair of the Transportation committee.