KERSHAW CO., S.C. — Deputies say a Clemson University professor has been charged with driving under the influence after officers saw him cross a center line and drive erratically in a state vehicle.
“DUI drivers kill more people in SC than do murderers and those who are arrested for DUI come from all walks of life,” Sheriff Jim Matthews said in a statement. “A person who is arrested for DUI might not be happy about their arrest, but they might also have been spared a felony DUI arrest if they had not been caught and had crashed and killed someone down the road.”
A deputy assigned to the agency’s DUI enforcement team saw a white Ford Taurus cross the center lane towards the deputy on a road in Lugoff shortly after 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8, according to the sheriff’s office.
The driver was later identified as 52-year-old Ronald David Lamie.
The deputy saw Lamie pass and cross the center line again, according to the sheriff’s office.
The deputy was not immediately able to turn around because of traffic. The deputy received a cell phone call from an officer with state Department of Natural Resources who was driving behind Lamie, according to the sheriff’s office.
The DNR officer told the deputy that he was behind a suspected drunk driver. The deputy advised the DNR officer to initiate a traffic stop if the erratic driving continued and that he would be there momentarily.
The DNR officer was able to stop Lamie and the deputy arrived seconds later.
Both the DNR officer and the deputy approached the vehicle and smelled a strong odor of alcohol coming from inside the vehicle. The deputy determined that Lamie was impaired after a road side sobriety test.
Deputies say the Taurus that Lamie was driving was a state of South Carolina vehicle bearing a permanent license tag.
“Upon the arrival of the supervisor and after speaking further with Lamie, it was determined that he was an employee of Clemson University,” according to the sheriff’s office.
Lamie is an associate professor of Applied Economics and Statistics and works at the Clemson Sandhills Extension facility at the time of his arrest, deputies said.
A “breathalyzer” exam indicated that Lamie’s blood alcohol content was almost twice the legal limit at .15, deputies say.