New Bern Mayor Lee Bettis’ driving while impaired case has been continued to Oct. 3. The continuance, which was approved Thursday, came at the state’s request.
Special Prosecutor Isaac Avery III said he needs more time to prepare. He said the distance between New Bern and his office in Raleigh creates a challenge in preparing for the trial.
Avery also said it is not uncommon for a first court hearing to be continued.
Bettis was present in court proceedings Thursday, which were held at Havelock City Hall. He had no comment.
Bettis’ attorney, Marc Chesnutt, was present in court as well. He could not be reached for a comment Thursday.
On May 6, Bettis was stopped by Havelock police, who had received 911 calls from motorists concerned about his driving. One motorist followed Bettis from N.C. 101 onto U.S. 70, through town and past the Havelock Walmart, reporting that the driver was swerving and could not maintain lane control.
Based on the manner in which Bettis was observed operating his vehicle and after several field sobriety tests, he was charged with DWI. Bettis also was charged with failure to maintain lane control and failure to obey highway markings.
The mayor agreed to take a Breathalyzer test, which is used to measure blood alcohol level, and registered 0.00 percent. Bettis also consented to a blood test, analyzed by the State Bureau of Investigation to determine whether he had alcohol or any other controlled substance in his system.
The blood test found no evidence of alcohol, but did find Benzodiazepines, a prescription psychoactive drug commonly used in treating anxiety, insomnia and seizures.