Glynn County’s State Court Public Defender was arrested and charged with DUI after midnight Friday on St. Simons Island, his second arrest this year, according to Glynn County Police records.
Billy Reid Zeh III, 43, was booked into the Glynn County Detention Center, charged with DUI and failure to maintain a lane, according to jail records. He was released later Friday after posting a total of $1,690 for both charges, jail records show.
Zeh is public defender for the county’s State Court, which handles misdemeanor crimes and traffic infractions.
Zeh was arrested also on March 5 and charged with misdemeanor simple battery, stemming from an incident in which he allegedly assaulted another man in the bar at the King and Prince Hotel on St. Simons Island.
Prior to his arrest at about 12:30 a.m. Friday on Frederica Road, police had already warned Zeh to stay home and not drive due to his alleged intoxication, according to police reports. Zeh allegedly struck the front porch of a woman’s home on St. Simons Island around 8:45 p.m. Thursday, then drove home, according to reports.
An officer went to the woman’s home and inspected the damage, the report said.
The officer later met Zeh at his Pirates Cove residence, and stated that Zeh was allegedly intoxicated. The officer stated that Zeh’s “license was soaked in an alcoholic beverage,” the report said. The officer said he saw damage to Zeh’s 2011 Toyota Sequoia that was “consistent with the damage done to (the woman’s) porch,” the report said.
The officer cited Zeh for causing property damage, then “told him not to drive anymore tonight,” the report said.
Later on, the same officer allegedly spotted Zeh’s Sequoia in the parking lot of Bennie’s Red Barn. Moments later, the officer was in the Sea Palms community when he allegedly saw the Sequoia traveling south on Frederica Road.
While following the vehicle, the officer said Zeh allegedly drove erratically, including driving off the road and “nearly colliding with a tree” and crossing Frederica Road’s center line several times, the report said. The officer stopped Zeh after he allegedly slowed down to a near stop on Frederica Road before making a “sweeping” turn into the St. Clair neighborhood, the report said.
Zeh allegedly refused to submit to a roadside sobriety test. The officer said Zeh allegedly smelled of alcohol, was swaying, and “his speech was thick, slurred and slow,” the report said.
The officer said Zeh allegedly cussed him while being handcuffed.
“Zeh became verbally aggressive immediately after being handcuffed and stated, ‘Make sure you put this in your report, F- — You!,’” the report said.