Person commissioner found not guilty of DWI
Posted May 29, 2015
Updated May 31, 2015
Roxboro, N.C. — A Person County commissioner, who admitted to authorities he had been drinking and driving, was found not guilty of DWI Thursday.
Kyle Puryear, 33, was charged with driving under the influence after he was observed crossing the center line on Mountain Road last spring, according to a report.
The report said Puyear told deputies he'd had two beers right before getting behind the wheel.
On Thursday, a judge found him not guilty - upsetting anti-drunk driving advocates.
"I am very disappointed that one of our leaders would be in that position," said Ollie Jeffers, president of the Person County chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. "We work very hard to make sure that our highways are safe. As a leader myself, I would think other leaders would do the same and lead by example."
Jeffers was in court when Puryear faced his DWI charge. She said she was shocked by the outcome.
"At the end of the day he was found not guilty, but in court I'm telling you, I was really disappointed by what happened in court," she said.
According to court documents, the judge suppressed Puryear's arrest saying the officer did not have probable cause. Because Puyear's arrest was suppressed, his blood alcohol level of .13 was not admitted into evidence.
"I cannot understand how that level is not guilty," Jeffers said.
Jeffers fears the outcome of the case could send the wrong message to others in the county.
"We're coming up on graduation and our children are going to think it's ok to do this," she said.
According to Person County commissioner Tracey Kendrick, Puyear should be judged based on the court's ruling.
"If someone goes to a court of law and is found innocent, we should not judge them in our own opinion. We should judge them on what the court says is right or wrong," Kendrick said in a statement.