Former SC House candidate arrested a third time

Former candidate for SC House District 63, Austin Smith, 21, was arrested by Florence police for DUI, Leaving the Scene of an Accident and Resisting Arrest Thanksgiving weekend.

He ran as a Democrat and lost the election in November to Republican Incumbent Representative Kris Crawford.

This is Smith's third arrest involving alcohol since July.

A man heard a crash at the intersection of Cheraw Drive and Cherokee Road on the morning of November 23, according to an incident report.

He walked outside and saw a 2005 Toyota had crashed into a telephone pole.

The witness saw Smith in the car and says Smith said, "I will pay you anything if you move my car. I can't get a DUI. I'm Austin Smith," according to the incident report.

The witness told Smith he was going to call police, and the report says Smith used derogatory language and indicated he was going to report the car as being stolen.

Just as officers got to the scene, they say Smith called 911 to report the vehicle as being stolen.

Police questioned Smith and say he denied driving the car and told them it was stolen from his driveway.

Smith had a strong odor of alcohol coming from his breath and his eyes were bloodshot, according to officers who gave him a field sobriety test.

After the test he was placed under arrest for DUI.

The incident report says Smith refused to walk with officers to the patrol car and fell to the ground. Officers say they had to physically pick him up and place him in the car.

When Smith got to the detention center, the report says he tried to strike his head on the floor and run into walls. Florence County deputies had to restrain him to protect him from hurting himself, according to the police report.

He will appear in court on the charges on December 18.

Smith tells NewsChannel 15 he's getting help.

" I


like, like millions of Americans suffer from substance abuse problems and you know I'm committed to doing everything that I can to get treatment," said Smith. "And I just want to thank everyone who has reached out to me the last few days. And it really means a lot."

A portion of the dash cam video taken by police at the scene is attached to this story and was obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.