If you drive about 150 miles southeast of Greensboro, you will arrive in Greensville. Known as the home of East Carolina University and a number of historical sites, the city is also home to WITN. The TV station recently reported that a North Carolina District Court judge was arrested on a DWI (driving while impaired) charge.

Judge Timothy Smith denies that he was impaired at the time he was pulled over and says he has an independent analysis of a blood test that proves he wasn’t impaired.

Smith was reportedly driving erratically when he was stopped by law enforcement. According to a statement from the Committee to Elect Tim Smith, the judge insists that he was driving home after presiding over criminal court in Trenton.

He was stopped and then consented to a roadside sobriety test.

He submitted a blood sample for the Highway Patrol and then immediately submitted to a blood test for analysis by an independent drug recognition expert. Smith says the expert has concluded that he was not impaired.

WITN reports that troopers are “waiting for the results of their own blood test which they say will prove (Smith) was impaired on something other than alcohol.”

Smith is a North Carolina District Court judge in Jones, Duplin, Onslow and Sampson counties.

He has a court date scheduled for early April.

As many of our readers know, our state has tough DWI laws that include five levels of misdemeanor driving while impaired charges:

  • Level I: a conviction on this toughest DWI level can mean a jail term of up to two years and a fine of up to $4,000. A judge cannot suspend the 30-day minimum jail sentence.
  • Level II: Minimum time in jail is seven days, while the max is one year. Again, a judge can’t suspend the minimum sentence.
  • Level III: The minimum is 72 hours in jail (a sentence that can be suspended in certain situations) and the maximum is up to six months.
  • Level IV: Minimum 48 hours (eligible for suspension) and a maximum of four months behind bars.
  • Level V: The most lenient of our state’s DWI charges, it still carries a minimum of 24 hours in jail (suspension eligible) and a max of up to 60 days.

Those facing North Carolina’s harsh DWI sentences should decline to speak to a prosecutor until after they talked over their case with a Greensboro attorney experienced in negotiations and at trial.