Bicyclist Charged With Habitual Impaired Driving

SMITHFIELD – Police in Smithfield arrested a 53 year-old man for habitual driving while impaired and assault.  James Michael Tobias of E. Church Street was arrested by officers around 8:00pm last Wednesday, August 19th.

Police were initially dispatched to the vicinity of the Dollar Tree at 1265 N. Brightleaf Boulevard after a 29 year-old man said Tobias had struck him in the head with his elbow.  Tobias left the scene riding his bicycle.

Officers said they found Tobias pedaling southbound on N. Brightleaf Boulevard even though he had difficulty maintaining his stability.  He refused commands to stop his bicycle for officers.  Eventually police were able to stop him in the parking lot of the IGA.  During questioning, officers noted that Tobias had trouble standing on his feet.

Police obtained a blood sample from the suspect and charged him with habitual DWI, simple assault and resisting and delaying an officer. He was released on a $500 bond.

According to court documents, Tobias had previous convictions for driving drunk on at least three previous occasions.  In 2012, Smithfield Police arrested Tobias for drunk driving on his bicycle after he pedaled through a stop sign on South Fifth Street nearly striking a car.  He registered 0.16 on the Breathalyzer following that arrest.

Tobias served 20 months in prison for a separate 2017 habitual DWI conviction.