Tests show New Bern mayor did not have alcohol in his system when pulled for DWI

Published: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at 04:55 PM.

A blood test on New Bern Mayor Lee Bettis came back from the state this week and shows no trace of alcohol in his system when he was charged with DWI in May while driving through Havelock.

According to the N.C. State Crime Laboratory blood test, Bettis’ blood did test positive for Benzodiazepines, a psychoactive drug commonly used in treating anxiety, insomnia and seizures.

Mark Chesnutt, Bettis’ attorney, said the blood test was no surprise.

“That was the thing we knew would be positive,” he said of the Benzodiazepines. “But it was not a quantitative analysis.”

Chesnutt said Bettis’ response was “I told you.”

Bettis told him he took a pill the night before to go to bed and that the pill did not affect him physically or mentally, Chesnutt said.

The doctors Chesnutt talked to said a drug used for pain or sleep could show up in someone’s system for several days, but there should be no effects the next morning.

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