A member of the Onslow County Board of Education, who ran last year on a platform of bringing conservative values to the board, has been arrested for allegedly driving drunk.
Jonathan Andrew Merritt, 35, of Ashbury Park Lane in Richlands, was arrested Monday by the Richlands Police Department and charged with driving while impaired, misdemeanor drinking beer while driving, and revocation of his driver’s license.
A driver called dispatch Monday night to report he was traveling behind someone who was driving erratically, said Richlands Police Department Chief Ron Lindig. A BOLO — or Be On the Lookout — was put out for the vehicle, a 2013 Chevrolet, Lindig said.
An officer pulled Merritt over around 11:30 p.m. as he was pulling out of the Speedway gas station on U.S. 258 near Koonce Fork Road in Richlands and deemed him to be impaired, Lindig said.
Merritt refused a breathalyzer test, according to court documents, but a blood test was taken. The results have not come back yet.
Lindig said Merritt had an open can of beer in the car. His release was authorized without a bond being set, according to court documents.
Merritt declined to comment on his arrest.
“I appreciate the courtesy but I can’t comment on it,” Merritt said, saying the case is still pending.
Merritt wrote in his candidate profile that he previously served as the sergeant of investigations at the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office and is still listed as a diesel and heavy equipment technology instructor at James Sprunt Community College.
“The Board of Education holds itself to a high standard,” BOE Chairwoman Pam Thomas said. “While this is really a personal matter for Mr. Merritt, it is not reflective of the ethics and standards the Board of Education endorses.”
Merritt has previously been charged with driving while impaired in Halifax County on Oct. 14, 2005, a case that he was found not guilty of on Jan. 23, 2006, according to N.C. Courts.
He is slated to appear in Onslow County District Court on June 15, according to the North Carolina Court System.