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Arizona legislator accused of DUI in Scottsdale

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Rep. David Burnell Smith Rep. David Burnell Smith

An Arizona lawmaker behind several bills in the legislature relating to dui laws in our state now may be dealing with some of those laws himself. He was arrested for driving drunk.

On October 21, a 911 caller reported seeing a car driving erratically in the area of Pima Road and Dynamite in Scottsdale.

The exact words used by the caller to describe it were: the car was "all over the place."

Driving that car was state representative and criminal defense attorney David Burnell Smith.

According to the Scottsdale Police report, he was pulled over and during questioning he asked the officer "do you know who I am?"

The officer did not and Smith proceeded to tell him he was a state representative.

Police say Smith's breathalyzer test resulted in a .137 blood alcohol level, way above the legal limit.

Smith claimed he hadn't been drinking that night -- that he had only had mouthwash 2 hours earlier.

As a lawyer, Smith has defended many drunk driving suspects, and as a state lawmaker has pushed drunk driving legislation in Arizona.

Most recently he attempted to lessen penalties for first time DUI offenses.

"No one is immune from making mistakes," says valley attorney Kirk Smith. He doesn't know David Smith.

"Solely because the person is a DUI attorney doesn't mean they can't make that defense themselves."

"In terms of a type of crimes that a person can commit, it's probably the most common that a person who doesn't commit crimes could commit," says Kirk.

"And as far as the mouthwash defense, the success rate on using that defense rate isn't very high… not to say it's not plausible but it is a challenge to use."

Smith was successful at getting a law passed that lowered the amount of time a first time DUI offender was required to have an interlock device on their car -- from one year to six months.

If convicted, Smith would have to use that device on his car.

He faces arraignment Wednesday in Scottsdale Municipal Court.

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