Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Captain David Smith II was arrested on last week for allegedly driving under the influence and crashing into a motorcyclist. The motorcyclist, who has not been unidentified, was airlifted to a hospital for treatment. Their condition is currently unknown.
Smith was arrested on suspicion of DUI. He was booked into jail at 1 a.m. on Sunday and released a few hours later. Attorney information was not available.
According to the police report, the alleged crash occurred at around 9 p.m. on Saturday in Royal Palm Beach. Smith was not in uniform at the time. He was a driving a Ford Mustang east on Southern Boulevard near Loxahtchee Groves and Palms West Hospital when he sped up and crossed several lanes, eventually colliding with a motorcyclist. The motorcyclist reported leg pain and was airlifted to a hospital; the severity of their injuries is unknown.
An off-duty deputy reportedly witnessed Smith speeding before he struck the motorcyclist. The deputy wrote in the police report that he attempted to help the motorcyclist and noticed Smith had “difficulty maintaining his balance” and an “obvious odor of an unknown alcoholic beverage.” His speech was slow and slurred, and he appeared disoriented when the deputy asked him to call 911, reports suggest.
Smith allegedly told investigators that he had six Bud Lights while watching a baseball game at a bar in Royal Palm Beach. He said he had not eaten since that afternoon and that he had also taken a Xanax. He consented to a series of field sobriety exercises, but he was reportedly unable to touch heel to toe, stand on one leg, or touch his nose. He also agreed to a Breathalyzer test and was tested twice: the first reading was .196 and the second was .202. Both results are more than double the legal limit for driving in Florida.
According to records from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Smith has been a law enforcement officer since 1998. He is currently the security commander of the West Detention Center in Belle Glade. He has been placed on administrative leave with pay. The sheriff’s office released the following statement in response to the incident:
“The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office holds its employees to the highest standards and never forgets about its duty to preserve the public’s trust. Unfortunately sometimes an employee makes a bad decision which leads to misconduct and arrest, resulting in charges. The Sheriff’s Office will remain vigilant to insure that our efforts are professional and meet the high standards that the public has come to expect.”
Florida has some of the toughest DUI laws in the country because of the deaths, particularly of youth, that have been caused by drunk driving. First time DUI offenses that don’t involve serious injuries or death are usually treated as misdemeanors. In such cases, the offender may only receive probation and other special conditions like driver’s license suspension, DUI classes, community services, fines, etc. as punishment.