WRAL Investigates

Police: Sheriff's Daughter Refused Sobriety Test

Posted April 9, 2008
Updated April 10, 2008

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— Two Henderson police officers who participated in a traffic stop involving Vance County Sheriff Peter White's daughter last month said the woman refused a roadside sobriety test and became abusive toward deputies.

Two Vance County deputies stopped a sport utility vehicle on U.S. Highway 1 near Henderson on March 23 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.

When the deputy realized the SUV driver was Shahita White, 34, he called Vance County dispatchers to report the incident, telling them Shahita White was "blistered." A dispatcher then called the sheriff to notify him his daughter had been charged with reckless driving, and the sheriff went to the scene to pick her up.

Vance County District Attorney Sam Currin said he has no evidence to pursue further charges against Shahita White because deputies didn't administer a sobriety test during the traffic stop.

In memos about the incident obtained by WRAL, Henderson officers B.R. Hobgood and H.L. Williams stated one deputy tried 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.

"Get that (expletive) out of my face. My daddy is the sheriff," Hobgood quoted her as saying.

According to Williams, she said, "I ain't taking no test. I am going to sit in my vehicle until my father gets here."

The two officers had to grab the keys out of the SUV to ensure White didn't drive off after she got back in the driver's seat, the two officers said.

They 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 their reports.

Currin said he would review the officers' memos and determine whether the investigation into the traffic stop needed to be reopened.

Peter White couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday. He previously denied interfering in the initial investigation.

Carolyn Yancey, Shahita White's attorney, declined to comment Wednesday.

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  • Every1has1 Apr 10, 2008

    I don't know the laws but this is not unique to this situation and family members of the law enforcement officers. I have a family member that was reported for drunk driving. There were two reasons for this...he was already on probation for assaulting his wife and he was raising heck at the house while highly intoxicated. He got in the car and we called the sheriff's department. He ran from the wake county sheriff (I witnessed this and knew he was very drunk. When they caught him, he refused the breathalyzer and was let off with a ticket for an open container in the car. I was outraged and complained to every official I could contact. I was finally told that since he refused, they could have arrested him and taken him downtown but by the time he was processed he would be sober and they'd have to let him go anyway. Our system needs to be overhauled big time! This person is always getting out of everything they get into and it drives me crazy.

  • FromClayton Apr 10, 2008

    I wish my daddy was the sherriff. Tickets are expensive.

  • lovecarolinagutters Apr 10, 2008

    Under the old Sheriff, Thomas Breedlove, Vance County law enforement made their own rules. I see the trend is continuing under the new Sheriff.

  • VT1994Hokie Apr 10, 2008

    I think that dukie4life hit this situation square in the jaw. It makes a lot of sense to me.

    She definitely did enough stuff to be placed in jail for the night. Other people in this same situation would be a terrible mess. The Sheriff will have to answer to the voters in the next election. But, it is like I said in the first printing, power and authority over-rules common sense. "I want to call my daddy--right now."

  • SouthernLady05 Apr 10, 2008

    somerandomguy: Not all officers carry tasers, some depts can't afford them.

  • leo149 Apr 10, 2008

    Also, someone in an earlier post mentioned in-camera's. Most HPD cars do have them. It would be nice to see the footage that the in-car camera may contain.

  • leo149 Apr 10, 2008

    No, sww1rb...refusing a sobriety test doesn't mean you lose your license. Refusal to take the Intoxilyzer, which is at the local SHP station, Sheriffs Office (as in this case), or at the Police Department is what takes your driving priveledge. This obviously occurs after the initial arrest on the roadside.

  • gentrytwin2 Apr 10, 2008

    Seems to me all involved should be disciplined in some way, including the Sheriff. That's the problem these days, too many people know someone in Law Enforcement and always seems to get by with too much. I think yes, he should have gone to the scene because someone had to drive. Normally most children would call their parents so that was typical...

  • SomeRandomGuy Apr 10, 2008

    Why was she not introduced to a TASER when she refused to comply and got back in her vehicle?? And then she was actually TRYING to drive off??

  • mommy2caroline Apr 10, 2008

    There should not have been a professional courtesy to call her Daddy. She should have been put through the process just as any other suspected drunk driver. She could have called her father with her phone call from jail-just like any other arrested person.

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