Apparently being a congressional candidate — not a congressman, mind you, just a candidate — is supposed to allow you to not be questioned about driving drunk in New Jersey.

Ian Smith, the defiant owner of Atilis Gym who refused to follow orders to close during the pandemic, was recently charged with drunk driving after being stopped in Cinnaminson. Police say he failed a field sobriety test but refused to submit to a breathalyzer after being pulled over for erratic driving, which you can see clearly in the dashcam video.

In New Jersey, refusing to submit to a breathalyzer is legally an admission of guilt. As he was being taken into custody he said an interesting thing.

“You know I’m a congressional candidate for this district, right?” Smith is heard telling an officer. He played the Do-You-Know-Who-I-Am card.

There is, of course, a long history in not only Hollywood and professional sports of the Do-You-Know-Who-I-Am play, but also in Jersey politics.

Caren Turner was a Port Authority of New York and New Jersey commissioner when she intervened in a traffic stop in Tenafly of a car in which her daughter was a passenger. She made quite a show of her gold commissioner’s badge and flexed on her powerful influence.

It all blew up in her face and she ended up resigning.

When Jeff Hamilton was the mayor of Paulsboro, he was pulled over in Woolwich in a DWI stop. His Do-You-Know-Who-I-Am card was played by telling the cops to call their mayor, Sam Maccarone, because he was good friends with him.

Police say he repeated the request several times. He eventually pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated.

Hollywood has seen the card played many times. Police say actress Reese Witherspoon tried interfering when her husband was pulled over for erratic driving and was caught on a police recording saying, “Do you know my name? You’re about to find out who I am!”

After throwing a bong out her window in 2013 Amanda Bynes demanded to know if the officers knew who she was, according to police.

And Alec Baldwin’s reaction to NYC cops stopping him for riding his bicycle against traffic near Union Square was said to be as follows: “F### this! This is horsesh##! Do you know who I am?!”

As far as gym owner and congressional candidate Ian Smith playing the Do-you-know-who-I-am card? Yes Johnny Badass, we do. You’re the guy who killed Kevin Ade because you drove drunk in 2007.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.
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