Local News

Vance sheriff's daughter drops DWI appeal

Posted March 17, 2009 4:09 p.m. EDT

— The daughter of Vance County Sheriff Peter White has dropped her appeal of a drunken driving conviction resulting from an Easter Sunday traffic stop last year.

Shahita White, 34, pleaded guilty in August to driving while impaired but immediately appealed the case to Superior Court so she could have a jury trial.

With the appeal over, the original sentence of 12 months on unsupervised probation and a $200 fine was imposed. She also will have to undergo an alcohol assessment and perform community service.

Authorities charged Shahita White in July with DWI, more than three months after deputies stopped her near Henderson when 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.

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.

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 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.

Sheriff White has denied interfering in the initial investigation and has maintained that his deputies handled the traffic stop properly.