Driver’s Ed Teacher Charged With Drunk Driving

A driver’s education instructor at a Johnston County high school has been arrested for driving while impaired.

A state trooper was on patrol at 2:37am last Saturday, June 15th when he reportedly spotted a blue 2015 Jeep traveling approximately 62 MPH in a 55 MPH on Cleveland Road near Short Journey Road outside of Smithfield. The Jeep was also weaving.

Trooper T.R. Price said he stopped the Jeep being driven by 33 year-old Kenneth Marvin Watkins of Edgecombe Court, Smithfield.  Trooper Price told JoCoReport that Mr. Watkins had red glassy eyes and there was an odor of alcohol. Watkins allegedly admitted to consuming alcohol about 3 hours prior to the traffic stop.

Watkins also failed a field sobriety test. He was transported to the Johnston County Courthouse and submitted two samples on a Breathalyzer. The breath samples were 0.11 and 0.10, which were above the legal limit of 0.08 in North Carolina.

There was no one else in the Jeep at the time of the traffic stop.  Trooper Price said Watkins was polite and cooperative.

Watkins was charged with driving while impaired and failure to maintain lane control. He was released on an unsecured bond pending an August 8th court appearance

Johnston County School officials said Kenneth Watkins has been employed with the district since September 2014. He is a Health/PE Teacher at Cleveland High and also serves as a coach and driver’s ed instructor.  Officials said he is not currently performing any driver’s education duties.  His teaching salary is $4,400 per month.