Local News

Vance sheriff's daughter guilty of DWI

Posted August 25, 2008

— A judge Monday convicted the daughter of Vance County Sheriff Peter White of driving while impaired before an Easter Sunday traffic stop.

The attorney for Shahita White, 34, immediately appealed the case to Superior Court so she could have a jury trial.

"Because of the nature of the case and because of all the publicity the case has gotten so far, it's one that cries out to be tried in front of a jury in a public forum," defense attorney Butch Williams said.

Authorities charged Shahita White in July with DWI, more than three months after deputies stopped her near Henderson after drivers called 911 to report a sport utility vehicle swerving through traffic as it headed the wrong way on U.S. Highway 1. Callers said the driver appeared to be drunk.

Deputies who had stopped her called radio dispatchers, saying Shahita White was "blistered" and asking that the sheriff be notified. He later picked up his daughter up from the scene, and she was charged with reckless driving.

Vance County District Attorney Sam Currin initially said he could not pursue drunken-driving charges against her because no roadside sobriety test had been administered.

Later, however, he asked the State Bureau of Investigation review the case after WRAL News uncovered internal memos filed after the March 23 traffic stop by two Henderson police officers who participated in it.

The officers wrote that Shahita White slapped a deputy's arm and refused to cooperate with a second sobriety test after a first one failed to register a reading. They described her as smelling of alcohol, being unsteady on her feet, slurring her speech and having red, glassy eyes.

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

Special District Judge David Labarre sentenced Shahita White to two to 120 days in jail, suspended to 12 months of unsupervised probation, and fined her $200. He also ordered her to undergo an alcohol assessment and perform community service.

She pleaded guilty in May to the reckless driving charge and was given a 30-day suspended sentence and placed on unsupervised probation for a year.

Sheriff White has denied interfering in the initial investigation and has maintained that his deputies handled the traffic stop properly. He declined to comment Monday, saying his daughter is an adult with an attorney and the case will work its way through the legal system.

While some local residents said they believe Shahita White initially got special treatment because of her father, Williams said she might be facing further scrutiny for that same reason.

"A lot of people have raised that particular issue, and so we want to take the politics out of it and give her her day in court in a proper manner," he said.

No date has been set for the Superior Court trial.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • hkypky Sep 2, 2008

    james27613: I don't approve of DWI/DUI either but for much different reasons.

  • hkypky Sep 2, 2008

    iamforjustice: Right .... and so most all of the traffic stops for people under the influence or even thought to be result in the police officer calling your Daddy so he can come pick you up and take you home versus spending a night in jail.

    You can't be serious.

  • hkypky Sep 2, 2008

    Weetie: Yes it would. Take a look back at the reports on the case. It's not just a story on yet another drunk driver.

  • hkypky Sep 2, 2008

    Once again, another slap on the wrist handed down to a drunk driver. She's getting a free pass and still wants to fight it. What a joke.

  • superman Aug 26, 2008

    It appears that she has far more problems than just drinking. From the report sounds like she assualted the police officer. Urinating on herself, driving down the wrong side of the road. Lucky she didnt kill some of you that have forgiven her. They may come up with additional charges, the DA determines what she is to be charged with -- not her daddy sheriff. I guess it is pretty factual to say that she was driving on the wrong side of the road-- Daddy should tell his girl to just leave it alone.

  • iamforjustice Aug 26, 2008

    I think sometimes people drink out of problems in their lives. I don't know what kind of problems she was facing to turn to the bottle but we should look past that and see the beauty within her spirit. I am pretty she is sorry for what she did and I and the Lord have forgiven her. Please people look beyond your angry souls and find the beauty in her heart and learn to forgive. Don't hate her, hate her sins. Love her and let's all move on.

  • james27613 Aug 26, 2008

    If you are stopped, always decline the field test !

    Tell them you will submit blood test.
    Why ? I'll tell you why, lab can loose the sample,
    lab blood machine can be out of calibration, etc.
    and that can get the case tossed out of court.
    If you are borderline DWI DUI, by the time you get to
    the blood work done, you could be legal limit.

    ** I do not approve of DWI or DUI **

  • iamforjustice Aug 26, 2008

    I love driving up to Henderson, it is a nice city. But the corruption in that city is overwhelming. I know a lot of times I try to see the good in people. I really don't think she is a bad person and what happened happens all the time and its nothing new. Just let her go on with her life. I will not get into detail but when I say this happens a lot in Vance County I really mean it and nothing is said about it.

  • ridgerunner Aug 26, 2008

    Iamforjustice does not think any one is guilty of any thing except the Duke Lacrosse players. The kid did not throw the bottle off the bus the policeman over reacted, and now people are picking on this sweet loving caring young lady.

  • ladyblue Aug 26, 2008

    I will be so glad when people stop picking on this lady. I have seen her in Henderson and she is a sweet loving caring young lady. The truth will prevail. Just because her uncle is sheriff doesn't give her any privileges and she doesn't want any.

    But she didn't mind having the special privilege of allowing her father (who is chief of Police) come and get her at the stop sight. Instead of going to jail like all other DWI's she was allowed to go home with her daddy. Personally I am glad to see justice FIANLLY SERVED.......