A local state representative has a jury trial scheduled next week in Laurel County District Court after being arrested and charged for operating a motor vehicle under the influence in April of last year.
Two months later, Derek Lewis, who represents Kentucky’s 90th District, pleaded not guilty to the single charge. Lewis was scheduled to stand trial in September and October of last year, but they were ultimately delayed. A jury trial is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 19.
Lewis was arrested during the overnight hours of April 16, 2020 by Laurel County Sheriff’s K-9 Deputy Gary Mehler and Sgt. John Inman off Hatcher Road.
According to the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office report, deputies were en route to a complaint call on Hatcher Road when they located a green-colored Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck against a split rail fence down in a ditch.
Upon exiting his patrol vehicle to render aid, Mehler reported that Lewis exited the truck from the passenger side and that the vehicle was still running. Mehler also states in the citation that Lewis appeared unsteady on his feet and was slurring his speech.
“Once I began to speak with him face to face, and in close proximity, I noticed his eyes were very glassy and bloodshot,” said Mehler in the arrest citation. “I also smelled a very strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from his breath.”
The citation says that Lewis asked to have his blood sugar level tested. An EMT tested it saying it was slightly elevated and “not the reason for his behavior.”
Lewis was taken to Saint Joseph London where he asked to have two different attorneys contacted. Deputies were unable to contact either and Lewis refused to take a blood test to determine his blood-alcohol level, stated the citation.
The state representative was later released from the Laurel County Detention Center the following morning under his own recognizance.
Lewis released the following statement on his Facebook page from his attorneys Croley, Foley and Cessna - Attorneys At Law:
“On April 16, 2020, at or before midnight, Mr. Lewis was returning to London after working the entire day in Frankfort. As he proceeded home, his vehicle struck a ditch and became immobile. He was not injured. Mr. Lewis was later charged by the Laurel County Sheriff’s Department with operating his vehicle under the influence.”
The statement then states that Lewis would plead not guilty to the charges, which he did during his arraignment.
It goes on to ask that, “everyone following this matter keep an open mind and not reach any conclusions while the matter proceeds through the legal system.”