BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C.–Troopers with the South Carolina Highway Patrol arrested a Republican state senator from Berkeley County Saturday night on various charges.
Paul G. Campbell Jr. of Goose Creek was booked into the Charleston County Detention Center in North Charleston. He’s charged with driving under the influence (DUI) and providing false info to police.
Campbell’s wife was also cited for providing false information to police. However, she was released at the scene.
According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, shortly after 9:00 p.m. troopers were called to investigate a two-vehicle crash on I-26W, near mile marker 204, in Berkeley County.
Troopers said the crash occurred after one vehicle was struck in the rear by another vehicle in congested traffic. During the investigation there was some discrepancy over who was actually driving the at-fault vehicle during the time of the collision. After talking with both parties of the crash, troopers determined that the driver was, in fact, Campbell.
Campbell was administered a field sobriety test and, as a result of those tests, was arrested for driving under the influence. Campbell was taken to the Charleston County Detention Center where his blood alcohol level registered a .09. The legal limit is .08% in South Carolina.
On Sunday morning, the 71-year-old lawmaker’s bond was set at $1,457. He has been released from jail.
In a brief interview with ABC News 4, Campbell maintains his innocence.
“Wait until it comes out in court, but I wasn’t driving, OK,” Campbell said to ABC News 4’s Angela Brown.
Reaction to the arrest has drawn mixed reactions via social media. Some voters have called for him to step down from his political post.
“As a constituent, he has been nasty to me on more than one occasion, and I hope the Berkeley County Delegation calls for his resignation,” stated voter Jennifer Ort.
“Drunk drivers, no matter who you are, should be in jail a long time! No excuses, especially from those in a leadership position. Good grief! Governor remove this man from office and the airport board!” stated voter, Mike Miller.
Others continue to show support for the longtime lawmaker.
“Don’t cast stones at Paul for one very bad decision unless you are blameless in your own life,” stated voter, Paul Norris. “It doesn’t change my opinion that he is a very good person who made a poor decision.”
Campbell is currently the chairman of the senate ethics committee and represents Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Counties. He also serves as the executive director and CEO of the Charleston County Aviation Authority.