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Mon, Jul 24, 2017 09:46 PM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
Trial set for state worker charged with DUI
PRESTONSBURG — A May trial date has been set for a state highway department inspector charged with drunk driving in January.

Michael H. Turner, 49, brother of state Sen. Johnny Ray Turner, is set to go on trial May 13 in Floyd District Court.

Turner was arrested in Prestonsburg on Jan. 29 by Kentucky State Police trooper Brandon Thomas after Turner was involved in a two-vehicle accident while allegedly driving drunk. No one was reportedly injured in the accident, which occurred on Ky. 114 near Prestonsburg, according to previous statements by Thomas.

Turner was placed on "investigative leave" from the Kentucky Motor Vehicle Commission, a branch of the Transportation Cabinet, pending the outcome of an "internal personnel investigation," Mark Pfeiffer, the Transportation Cabinet's director of public affairs, told The Big Sandy News Thursday.

Turner was working as a motor vehicle district administrator, which means he inspected car dealers and could issue administrative citations to auto dealers found in violation of motor vehicle sales, Pfeiffer said. The job was apparently created in the state's 2000-2002 budget.

Turner's driver's license was suspended on March 19 by District Judge James Allen because he refused "to take an alcohol concentration or substance test," according to court records. The arrest citation says Turner refused to take a Breathalyzer test. According to the pre-trial suspension order, Turner's license is to be suspended for 120 days or until the case is resolved.

Johnny Ray Turner signed Michael Turner's $6,000 surety bond to be released from jail.

Thomas wrote on the arrest citation that Turner smelled of alcohol, failed field sobriety tests and refused to take a blood test at Highlands Regional Medical Center after "making several attempts to call his attorney."

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