Simpson jailed for DUI

Suspect refused to take breathalyzer test, report shows


By Mindy Ragan Wood, Staff Writer – A man from a longtime local family was arrested for driving drunk last weekend in Piedmont.

John Michael Simpson, 51, of Okarche, was stopped for speeding on Washington Road Sunday around 1 a.m., according to a police report.

The officer wrote in the report that he registered Simpson’s speed at 43 miles per hour in a 35 mph zone in front of Piedmont Intermediate School at 977 Washington Road. The officer stopped him in the 1200 block where he was “able to smell an odor of an alcoholic beverage,” the report shows.

The officer asked Simpson where he had been. Simpson reportedly replied he had been at a wedding at Remington Park and had dropped off a couple of friends in Piedmont. Simpson said he had been drinking liquor but it had been three hours earlier.

“His speech was slurred and he had red, watery eyes,” the report reads.

The officer asked Simpson to take sobriety tests and he agreed.

“During the test, I informed him to move his eyes only and not to turn his head…during that test he followed my pen with his head multiple times. After that test I performed the Walk and Turn test. He struggled to walk heal to toe and counted to 10 steps instead of 9. He was not steady on his feet during the test,” the officer stated in his report. “Simpson refused the state’s breath test.”

The officer took Simpson to the Piedmont Police Department, booked him into the system, and then escorted him to Canadian County Jail on a DUI complaint.

Simpson posted a $2,500 bond and is no longer in custody. Simpson had been an active member of the Piedmont Historical Society.