Chapel Hill News

Chapel Hill councilman’s DWI case continued to Dec. 8

Chapel Hill Town Councilman Lee Storrow speaks outside of Chapel Hill traffic court in Chapel Hill Tuesday morning, November 17, 2015 after his DWI case from August, 2015 was continued. Storrow received no sentence and the speeding charge that was originally with the DWI charge has been dropped.
Chapel Hill Town Councilman Lee Storrow speaks outside of Chapel Hill traffic court in Chapel Hill Tuesday morning, November 17, 2015 after his DWI case from August, 2015 was continued. Storrow received no sentence and the speeding charge that was originally with the DWI charge has been dropped. hlynch@newsobserver.com

Town Councilman Lee Storrow’s drunken-driving case was continued Tuesday to give him time to finish working with an alcohol support class at UNC.

Storrow, 26, of 208 Barclay Road in Chapel Hill, was charged Aug. 26 and pleaded guilty in September to a misdemeanor charge of driving while impaired. He registered a blood alcohol level of 0.16 on a Breathalyzer test, police reported, twice the state’s legal limit for impaired driving.

Prosecutors have agreed to dismiss a second misdemeanor charge: speeding 63 mph in a 35 mph zone.

The first-term councilman has completed more than 20 hours in the UNC Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program. It’s been a positive experience, he said, and his counselor recommended that he stay in the class for 30 hours. Storrow said he has not had alcohol since his arrest.

“It’s going to be hard to talk about, since there are personal elements to it,” Storrow said. “Generally, I’ve seen some positive health benefits for me, and that’s been, I think, an important part of my dialogue with both my counselor and the support group I’m a part of at UNC Health Care.”

Storrow lost his re-election bid Nov. 3, taking seventh place in a field of nine candidates. His term in office expires next month.

He could be sentenced Dec. 8. Jail is possible for a first DWI offense, but the judge also could require Storrow to perform community service, serve a term of probation and pay a fine of up to $200, plus court costs.

Storrow said he expects his license to be suspended, but he could get limited privileges so he can drive to work.

The judge could consider several factors during sentencing, including Storrow’s blood-alcohol level, his speeding, his previous driving record and his participation in the alcohol assessment.

Chapel Hill Police Officer J.P. Greenlee reported stopping Storrow’s 2012 Toyota Prius for speeding at 1:15 a.m. near the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Municipal Drive. Greenlee reported Storrow’s eyes were glassy and his speech was sloppy and slurred, officials said.

Storrow has two prior speeding tickets, according to court records. The first was in 2010 when he was stopped for driving 70 mph in a 45 mph zone; he pleaded guilty to driving 54 mph in a 45 mph zone and was fined, records show.

Tammy Grubb: 919-829-8926, @TammyGrubb

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