Man tells police ‘I just stole this car’ after being stopped on suspicion of DUI

mprabhu@thesunnews.comSeptember 1, 2013 

— Police arrested a Florence man Sunday morning when they say he told an officer he was in a stolen vehicle after being stopped under suspicion of driving under the influence.

Michael Carleton Smith Jr., 46, is charged with driving under the influence; receiving, possessing, concealing, selling or disposing of a stolen vehicle under $2,000; and other related charges.

According to a Myrtle Beach police report, an officer responded to Cedar Street at Third Avenue North at about 10:45 a.m. Sunday and spoke to a man who called police and said he had followed a Dodge Stratus from Third Avenue South because the driver was “swerving all over the road.”

The officer located the Dodge in the 200 block of Cedar Street and, when approaching the car, saw that it was still running and Smith was slumped over in the driver’s seat with a can of some type of alcoholic beverage between his legs.

The officer said he surprised Smith when he spoke to him, causing Smith to “rear back with his fist.” The officer said once Smith realized he was a police officer, he apologized and said, “I have to tell you, I just stole this car.”

The officer then attempted to conduct field sobriety tests on Smith, who told the officer he wouldn’t be able to complete the tests, according to the report. Smith then turned around and said to the officer, “Just bring me to jail,” according to the report.

Once at Myrtle Beach Jail, police administered a breathalyzer test and Smith registered a blood alcohol level of .30. The legal limit in South Carolina is .08.

Officers contacted the owners of the Dodge to inform them of the car’s location.

Contact MAYA T. PRABHU at 444-1722 or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_MPrabhu.

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