MYRTLE BEACH — Conway police charged an attorney in the 15th Circuit Public Defender’s office with driving under the influence after she was stopped early Saturday near a middle school, according to authorities.
Melinda Knowles, 32, is charged with DUI and open container after an officer stopped her about 4:20 a.m. Saturday on Elm Street near the Conway Middle School, police said. She was booked into the J. Reuben Long Detention Center at 5:32 a.m. Saturday and released at 8:36 a.m. that day.
Knowles has worked as a public defender, is in good standing with the S.C. Bar Association and has no disciplinary actions.
Orrie West, the 15th Circuit public defender, could not be immediately reached Tuesday for comment.
The officer wrote in the report that he saw the vehicle cross the fog lane in front of the school and then make a left turn onto 13th Avenue, which is where the driver stopped after the officer activated the vehicle’s blue lights and sirens.
The officer noted Knowles had slurred speech and a strong odor of alcohol on her breath, according to the report. The officer wrote he saw Knowles take a white pill bottle from her purse, hand it to a passenger and said “hold this.”
The officer asked Knowles if she had consumed any alcohol and she stated she had two alcoholic beverages, according to the report. The officer performed a field sobriety test and noted that Knowles did not perform as asked.
Officers found two cups that smelled of alcohol inside the vehicle, according to the report. Knowles refused to submit to a breathalyzer test once she was taken into custody.
A passenger in the vehicle was cited for open container.
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