Controversial GOP candidate had already racked up $300,000 in fines – now he’s charged with driving under the influence

A gym owner who made headlines in 2020 for defying COVID-19 lockdowns by refusing to close his business was arrested for driving under the influence this Sunday.

Ian Smith was arrested this week and charged with DUI, reckless driving, and failure to observe traffic lanes after he refused to take a breathalyzer test, according to the Courier Post.

Smith and his business partner Frank Trumbetti have racked up nearly $300,000 in fines and had their gym's business license revoked as a result of their noncompliance. Smith announced in February that he was entering the Republican primary in New Jersey's 3rd Congressional District.

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In a post to Twitter, Smith claimed he passed a sobriety test and was arrested only for refusing the breathalyzer.

"My choice to not submit to a breathalyzer reflects my distrust after (two) years of persecution," Smith said.

Smith has been charged with DUI in the past when he was a 20-year-old college student in 2008, and was sentenced to more than five years in prison for a crash that killed a 19-year-old.