State Rep. Derek Lewis

LONDON, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky lawmaker has agreed to a 45-day suspension of his license to drive for declining to take a blood test in a drunken-driving investigation.

Republican state Rep. Derek Lewis of London agreed to the sanction “in an effort to put this entire case to bed,” said his attorney, Conrad Cessna.

Lewis was arrested near his home and charged with drunken driving a couple of hours after the 2020 General Assembly session had adjourned, media outlets reported. Lewis refused to take a blood test after being taken to a hospital, the citation said.

A jury acquitted Lewis last month.

Even when a person is acquitted of impaired driving, state law allows prosecutors to seek a license suspension if the person refused to take a test to measure impairment, said assistant county attorney Bruce Bentley, the prosecutor in Lewis’ case.

Bentley moved for that suspension after Lewis was acquitted, media outlets reported.

Bentley was not allowed to tell jurors about Lewis refusing to take a blood test because of a recent Kentucky Supreme Court ruling in a separate case. The high court said a defendant’s refusal to submit to a warrantless blood test cannot be used as evidence to help prove guilt or to seek stiffer punishment.


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