Closings, delays and early dismissals

Rockingham County commissioner has no plans to step down after DWI charge

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Keith Mabe

EDEN, N.C. — Two days after he was charged with DWI following a wreck, the chairman of the Rockingham County Commissioners said Monday he has no plans to step down, according to the News & Record.

William Keith “Zero” Mabe, 60, tested more than twice the legal blood alcohol limit. He is charged with driving while intoxicated, traveling left of center and reckless driving. Mabe crashed his truck Saturday, according to the Highway Patrol. As a result of Mabe’s alcohol level at the time of the charge, his driver’s license was suspended for 30 days.

“Anybody can make a mistake,” Mabe said. “I wasn’t perfect going in, and I’m not perfect today.”

Mabe has been a commissioner on the Rockingham County board since 2010, and was elected as chair this term.

Following the weekend wreck, some members of the community have questioned on social media sites whether Mabe should lead the county.

When asked if he has any plans to step down, Mabe said, “not as I see it right now.”

The commissioners next meeting is Jan. 5.

Vice-Chairman Craig Travis said he was surprised to hear of the wreck. He wouldn’t say whether he thought Mabe should step down from the commissioners.

On Mabe’s own Facebook page he posted he had six doses of paregoric, not the four he initially reported to the News & Record on Sunday.

“My Facebook post is more accurate,” Mabe said on Monday when reached by telephone.

Mabe said the doses were of about 2 milliliters each, “which is less than a teaspoon.”

Mabe also told the News & Record Sunday that the medication belonged to a deceased aunt. The medicine, which requires a prescription, is an opiate used to treat diarrhea.

Dr. Joy Greene is professor and assistant dean of the school of pharmacy at High Point University. She declined comment on the specific incident. In general, she said all paregorics contain alcohol, none more than 47 percent in a bottle. However, she said that exactly how that alcohol would show up in blood alcohol test is impossible to tell.

“There are too many missing variables to say with certainty,” Greene said. “It’s not a drug that gets used a lot.”

READ MORE: News & Record