Manatee teacher arrested on DUI charge

MANATEE — A Manatee County school teacher was arrested Saturday on drunk driving charges.

Pamela Smith, 50, was charged with driving under the influence and careless driving, according to a report.

The Kinnan Elementary School teacher told deputies she was driving her maroon PT Cruiser from Ed’s Tavern in Lakewood Ranch 10 miles away to her home in Sarasota, according to the report.

She left the tavern going west on University Parkway when she crashed into a crosswalk island and hit a bolt cover on the base of a traffic light pole at the intersection of Cooper Creek Bouelvard, the report said.

Smith was released from jail after posting a $2,000 bond. Margi Nanney, spokeswoman for Manatee County Schools, said Smith is teaching this week.

“Unless students are transported, it’s not our policy to remove (a teacher),” Nanney said. Nanney added that Smith reported the arrest to the school district, which is required by law.