A New Jersey gym owner who made headlines in 2020 for defying COVID-19 mandates told police he was running for Congress as he was being arrested for DUI, NJ.com reports.
“You know I’m a congressional candidate for this district, right?” Ian Smith says while handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser during his March 27 arrest, according to dash and body camera videos.
Smith told police that he had only one drink and the reason for his erratic driving was due to the suspension on his lifted pickup causing the vehicle to be difficult to control. Smith, who is co-owner of Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, is running for the Republican nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s 3rd District.
At one point during the arrest, Smith questioned the officer’s motivation for the stop.
“You didn’t get paid to do this?” Smith asks the officer.
“I didn’t get paid to do what?” the officer responds. “I’m doing my job. I don’t know what you mean. Get paid to do what?”
Smith's spokesman said that the reason Smith mentioned his political status to police was because he was "angry."
“People sometimes say things out of anger. He was trying to make a point that, ‘hey I’m running for congress. I wouldn’t do something so stupid as to drive drunk,'" spokesman Steve Kush said.
This is not Smith's first brush with the law in regards to driving while intoxicated. He has a prior conviction for drunken driving, as well as vehicular manslaughter, for a 2007 crash that killed 19-year-old Kevin Ade.
Watch the video below:
Ian Smith, N.J. gym owner running for Congress, arrested on DWI charge www.youtube.com