According to court records, the Highway Patrol pulled over 43-year-old Stuart Bowers on Raeford Road around midnight Saturday. The trooper wrote in his report Bowers had a strong odor of alcohol, mumbled speech and bloodshot eyes. A magistrate released him with a written promise to appear in court.
Less than two hours later, a different trooper pulled over Bowers, who was driving his car again. He, too, wrote the 43-year-old had a strong odor of alcohol, red eyes and slurred speech. Both times, Bowers refused a Breathalyzer test.
According to the Highway Patrol, it is not uncommon for someone to be released and hop back behind the wheel. Scottie Worrell towed away Bowers' car when it was impounded after the second arrest. He said he, too, has seen this happen before.
"I think they should be put in jail and at least kept overnight. If they are going to go back to their car again, they could kill somebody," he said.
Bowers has worked for Cumberland County Mental Health since 1996. He was recently promoted in April. An agency representative says while the agency does an internal investigation, Bowers will remain on the job, because he is not a threat or disruption to the workplace.
Over the past 20 years, authorities said Bowers was charged four other times with DWI. Authorities said he was convicted twice.
According to the Highway Patrol a decision on whether to hold a suspected drunken driver until he sobers up is solely up to the magistrate. As for Bowers, when reached by phone at work, he had no comment.
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