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Ferman Smith

A Baton Rouge man is facing his ninth DWI arrest after police pulled him over not long after midnight Saturday because he was drifting out of his lane, according to arrest records. 

Baton Rouge police noted in an affidavit of probable cause that Ferman Smith, 56, had eight prior DWI arrests dating back to 1989. The most recent occurred just a few weeks ago on June 29. 

Smith was arrested after he refused all sobriety tests, including a breath sample, police said. Officers requested a search warrant for a blood alcohol test, which is pending.

Police noted Smith's two most recent arrests — in April and June 2019 — were the result of his refusal to submit to a breathalyzer. 

Court records show Smith was convicted of third-offense DWI and hit and run driving in 2009. He was given a suspended sentence with two and a half years probation. 

He was later granted what's called a "first offender pardon," which is a form of clemency that applies to people convicted of their first felony. That likely explains why his most recent arrest was on the following counts: third-offense DWI, refusal to submit to chemical tests, turn signal required, improper lane usage and operating a vehicle while under suspension for prior offense.

Police said Smith's driver's license had been suspended from past DWI arrests. 

An officer noticed Smith traveling in the 1900 block of North Acadian Thruway not long after midnight Saturday, where he changed lanes without signaling, according to the arrest report. He then swerved across the center line in the 2900 block of Winbourne Avenue, which is when the officer initiated a traffic stop. 

Compiled from staff reports. To contact a crime reporter at The Advocate, email policereporters@theadvocate.com or call (225) 388-0369.