Candidate for Florence house seat arrested again

Austin Smith was arrested by Florence police Thursday night.

Florence police officers arrested Austin Smith, 21, saying he was drunk in public outside Club Taboo on Second Loop Road, Thursday night.

Smith is a Democratic candidate for South Carolina House Seat 63 in Florence. This is the second time he's been arrested since July. He was arrested then on charges of Minor Consumption of Alcohol and Hindering a Police Investigation. His latest charge is Public Drunk.

Officers and deputies from the Florence County Sheriff's Office were at the club investigating a fight when, according to Major Carlos Raines, Smith approached the deputies and asked why they were there.

Smith told the officers they were public servants and as a taxpayer he had a right to demand answers to his questions, said Raines.

Smith refused to return to the club and repeatedly asked officers to give him a breath test or field sobriety test to see if he was able to drive home, according to Raines.

Deputies told him to go back in the club or either call or a taxi.

Eventually, because they say Smith's speech was slurred, his eyes bloodshot, and he smelled of alcohol, they charged him.

He remains at the Florence County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.