Kentucky Senator Brandon Smith Wants DUI Dismissed, Claims Political Immunity

Jennifer Deutschmann

Kentucky Senator Brandon Smith has requested that his DUI charges be dismissed, as he is “privileged from arrest.” On Wednesday, Smith’s attorney filed a motion for dismissal, citing Section 43 of Kentucky’s Constitution. Although the rule was adopted in 1891, it was never amended.

In early January, Brandon Smith was pulled over by the Kentucky State Police. Although the senator was originally stopped for speeding, the officers had reason to believe he was driving under the influence of alcohol.

As reported by WKTY News, Smith consented to a breathalyzer test. However, he was arrested as his blood alcohol content was over the legal limit of.08.

During arraignment, Senator Brandon Smith’s attorney argued that their client was immune from arrest as the crime was committed during a legislative session. In their motion, the attorneys referred to Section 43 of the state constitution.

“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.”

The judge accepted the motion for dismissal, and postponed the arraignment pending his decision. Neither the prosecutor nor the defense attorney offered further comment about the situation.

Kentucky Senator Brandon Smith represents Senate District 30, which is located in the southeastern portion of the state. He has maintained the position for nearly seven years.

Smith’s political career began in 1993, when he was appointed as a commissioner for the City of Hazard. He served on the commission for a period of five years before moving on to the Kentucky House of Representatives.

Seven years later, Smith was elected as a Senator for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He was re-elected in 2010 and again in 2014. He currently serves as the Senate’s Majority Whip.

Although he does not have any prior criminal history, Kentucky Senator Brandon Smith is no stranger to controversy. In July 2014, Smith made an unusual statement during a Natural Resources and Environment Committee meeting on global warming.

“I won’t get into the debate about climate change but I’ll simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars. There’s no factories on Mars that I’m aware of.”

As reported by Huffington Post, the senator was simply explaining why he opposes emissions regulations. Unfortunately, his statement gained a lot of negative attention.

Kentucky Senator Brandon Smith’s DUI arrest has also become a point of heated controversy. Although Smith’s attorneys believe their client is “privileged from arrest,” his opponents have argued that he is using an archaic rule to avoid prosecution.

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