Amite councilman-elect arrested for DWI

AMITE, LA (WAFB) - An Amite City councilman set to take the oath of office will have to answer to a judge after going through a no-refusal DWI checkpoint.

Arthur Leonard, 48, will be sworn in for his first-term as a councilman next Tuesday. In the meantime, he's got some legal troubles.

State troopers said Leonard went through a DWI checkpoint on Highway 51 on December 28th. After pulling the future councilman over, troopers gave Leonard a urine test and a breathalyzer. Even though officials said Leonard blew a .000, troopers suspected drug impairment, which is why they arrested and charged him with operating a vehicle while intoxicated and driving with an expired license plate.

Amite Mayor-elect Buddy Bel will also be sworn in on Tuesday.

"Do you feel people who are elected should be held to a higher standard at all?" asked WAFB's Kiran Chawla.

"I'm not sure about higher standard. We should all be held to according to the law. We should all be held within the law and we have oaths of office we take and we sign ethics documents and those are pretty high standards already," said Bel.

Bel served as an Amite councilman for 12 years before retiring and pursuing mayor. In reference to Leonard, the incoming mayor said he had no comment. As for the councilman on his fifth term, Jonathan Foster, he agreed with the mayor.

"According to the law, they should be held according to the law. Whatever the law is, they should be held accordingly," said Foster.

"I apologize for my actions, and I should have been more responsible. It's not a positive image, and it doesn't represent my character or ability to lead. It happens to the best of us but we must learn from our mistakes. I do believe I will be good for the position I was elected for and that will not happen again," said Leonard.

Results from Leonard's urine test are pending.

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