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SBI Inquiry Sought in Traffic Stop of Sheriff's Daughter

Posted April 10, 2008

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— Vance County District Attorney Sam Currin on Thursday asked for a state investigation into a recent traffic stop involving the daughter of Vance County Sheriff Peter White.

Currin asked the state Attorney General's Office for a State Bureau of Investigation review of the March 23 stop in which Shahita White, 34, was charged with reckless driving. The move came after WRAL obtained memos filed by two Henderson police officers who participated in the traffic stop with county officers.

Two Vance County deputies stopped a sport utility vehicle on U.S. Highway 1 near Henderson after drivers called 911 to report the vehicle was swerving through traffic as it headed the wrong way on the highway. Callers said the driver appeared to be drunk.

After they stopped the SUV and realized who was behind the wheel, the deputies called radio dispatchers, saying Shahita White was "blistered." The dispatchers then called the sheriff and told him his daughter had been stopped and was "55," radio shorthand for an intoxicated driver. White  went to the scene to pick up his daughter.

Shahita White was charged with reckless driving, and Currin said previously he couldn't pursue drunken driving charges against her because no roadside sobriety test had been administered.

Henderson officers B.R. Hobgood and H.L. Williams stated in police department memos about the traffic stop that one deputy tried to give Shahita White a breath test to check her sobriety, but couldn't obtain a reading. White then slapped the deputy's arm away and refused to cooperate with another test, they said in the memos.

The officers described her as smelling of alcohol, being unsteady on her feet, slurring her speech and having red, glassy eyes. They also said she appeared to have urinated on herself.

The SUV had damage on the driver's side, the officers noted in the memos.

Currin said the accounts by the Henderson officers establish probable cause for a drunken-driving case against Shahita White. He said evidence is mounting that the Vance County Sheriff's Office made mistakes, so he wants an independent investigation.

"They messed it up one time. I don't want them to do it again," Currin said of the sheriff's office.

Peter White has denied interfering in the initial investigation and said his deputies handled everything properly. He couldn't be reached for comment Thursday.

The SBI investigation would focus on the drunken-driving allegations, not the sheriff's handling of the case, Currin said. But he said that he would review any evidence of a cover-up if agents brought it to him.

Vance County commissioners said they want to find out what happened during the traffic stop and why it did.

"We want answers like all the citizens, and we want to find out exactly what went wrong," said Danny Wright, chairman of the Vance County Board of Commissioners. "The commissioners are concerned about it, and it appears there was probable cause for a sobriety test to be administered, but one was not administered. So, we're interested in why not."

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  • leo-nc Apr 14, 2008

    "I was bounced off the wall by a highway patrol when I refused because I asked for a blood test instead"

    for one, there is no way you were bounced off the wall for that reason. There is more to the story that you're not telling. Secondly, you have no right to ask for a blood test. we can MAKE you take a test under certain circumstances, but again, you have no right to a blood test. If you refuse the breath test, your refusal can be used against you and your license is automatically revoked for one year.

  • GodBless Apr 14, 2008

    Defconlabs: 'cause we voted on it...

  • GodBless Apr 14, 2008

    jamesjmoore99 - please do it between 8 and 5 while I'm working or after 5:30 when I get off US 1. roflmbo!!!

  • jamesjmoore999 Apr 14, 2008

    Who says she was drunk? Driving on the wrong side of the road and peeing on herself does not indicate anything. Let her back on the road until we read about a very severe accident caused by her. Let's all get a six pack and drive up and down US-1. Let's party!!!!!

  • GodBless Apr 14, 2008

    I'm TIRED of this story. Why are tax dollars being wasted on this inquiry? The fact of the matter is that no bac test was given so technically no one knows if she was "blistered." Get over it people!

    She was driving the wrong way on US1! Unless she was having a diabetic seizure, has alzheimers disease, or dementia - SHE WAS BLISTERED! OKAY?!?!?!? If you are tired of the story - stop reading it. I live in Vance County. I don't want "baby girl" driving on the road drunk just "cause her daddy is the sheriff. BTW - he is the sheriff, but I did not vote for him. Later...

  • hkypky Apr 14, 2008

    amvaugha: That's the attitude the sheriff, his daughter, and the rest of Vance Co. management is hoping people will take towards this case.

    In reality, the bac of his daughter is the least significant part of the whole mess.

  • j and p Apr 14, 2008

    Sorry about the caps all and paythepiper, I really wasn't trying to be rude though, honestly, and it is true, the ongoing issue with 4 wheelers was just another example that I was stating of how law enforcement in some situations can be somewhat bias on internal issues and public, it's also true Centurian that the Sheriff's Dept. has the jurisdiction of those laws within the county, this was stated to me by a Sgt. in the N.C. Highway Patrol, Thanks

  • AM is Back to Being Immaculate Apr 14, 2008

    I'm TIRED of this story. Why are tax dollars being wasted on this inquiry? The fact of the matter is that no bac test was given so technically no one knows if she was "blistered." Get over it people!

  • Centurian Apr 14, 2008

    Matthew511.... Don't be so quick to blame the Sheriff about the 4 wheelers. Enforcement of traffic violations such as that is the PRIMARY duty of the NC Highway Patrol.

  • paythepiper Apr 14, 2008

    First of all, driving drunk is not a "bad decision." It is a crime. Does anyone think that the deputies would have allowed this from a plain citizen? Of course not, the person would have been tackled, maced and Lord knows what else. Another example of abuse of public office and betrayal of the public trust.

    On another note, may I encourage anyone who posts to GOLO to please check your spelling prior to hitting the "add comment" button. To those that post in all capital letters, there is a reason no one else does this, because it is rude. Your comments will make more of an impact if you would watch such things.

    Oh and I too, thank WRAL for keeping this on the front burner, no one should be above the law.

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