Man in court for driving drunk shows up drunk

Jan. 25, 2014 @ 08:16 AM

A Lenoir man due in court Thursday on a drunken driving charge wound up in jail after the judge noticed he appeared to be drunk.

Sammy William Sturgill, 48, of 701 Conley Place NW was in Caldwell District Court for a hearing on a 2012 charge of driving while impaired. Judge Robert Hodges ordered Sturgill to take an Intoxylizer test, which measured the alcohol in Sturgill's breath at the equivalent of a blood-alcohol level of 0.23 percent. Under North Carolina law, drivers are presumed impaired with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent.

Hodges charged Sturgil with contempt of court sentenced him to 30 days in jail.

Sturgill was driving a moped on Quail Ridge Court on July 19, 2012, when a Highway Patrol trooper pulled him over. His blood-alcohol level measured 0.25 percent, and he was charged with driving while impaired and reckless driving to endanger.

Sturgill previously was convicted in September 2002 and March 2012 of driving while impaired. He was convicted in November 1987 of second-degree murder.