Local News

Sheriff's daughter pleads guilty to reckless driving

Posted May 14, 2008 11:55 a.m. EDT
Updated July 7, 2008 9:30 p.m. EDT

— The daughter of Vance County Sheriff Peter White has pleaded guilty to reckless driving in an Easter Sunday incident that remains under investigation.

Shahita White, 34, was given a 30-day suspended sentence and placed on unsupervised probation for one year.

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.

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. Peter White went to the scene to pick up his daughter.

Two Henderson police officers who participated in the traffic stop said 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, the officers said in internal memos filed after the incident.

The officers 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 noted in the memos.

Vance County District Attorney Sam Currin initially said he couldn't pursue drunken driving charges against Shahita White because no roadside sobriety test had been done. After WRAL obtained the Henderson officers' memos, Currin asked State Bureau of Investigation agents to review the case, saying details provided by the officers established probable cause for a DWI charge.

The investigation hasn't been completed.

Peter White has denied interfering in the initial investigation and said his deputies handled everything properly.