In “this” venue, a policeman presided while a judge took orders.
On March 1, 2008, in Smyth County outside Roanoke, Wythe County Juvenile Court Judge Michael K. Blankenship
was stopped on Interstate 81 and charged with driving under the influence. On May 20, the judge is headed to the courthouse
but this time, to traffic court, reports the Wytheville Enterprise.
Blankenship is charged with two misdemeanors – DUI and Refusal to submit to a Breath/Blood test according to
Virginia State Police (VSP).
And there is more trouble for 43-year-old judge.
Last weekend in Powhatan, Virginia, Blankenship received a traffic citation for failing to report an accident. VSP claim eyewitnesses saw Blankenship run off the road, hit a telephone box, proceed to drive over an embankment and then hit a tree. VSP have not determined if alcohol factored in that incident, reported the Roanoke Times.
In the I-81 DUI arrest, VSP trooper R.D. Collins stopped Blankenship’s Subaru after receiving a tip from Washington County
police that a vehicle’s driver might be impaired. Collins observed Blankenship driving erratically before pulling the judge over
and requesting a breath test, reports the NBC television affiliate in Roanoke, WSLS.
Blankenship was appointed to the 27th Judicial District as a juvenile and domestic relations court judge in the summer of 2005
by the Virginia General Assembly. That district covers Wythe, Bland, Montgomery, Floyd, Giles, Pulaski, Carroll and Grayson
counties and the cities of Radford and Galax.
Before his appointment to the bench, Blankenship served six years as Wythe County’s commonwealth’s attorney and before
that, he was an assistant prosecutor in Smyth County.