Longtime Union Co. social worker arrested on suspicion of DWI

by: Stephanie Coueignoux Updated:

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UNION COUNTY - A Union County social worker was arrested on suspicion of DWI. Susan Parsons has been employed with Union County for nearly 30 years. She was arrested just after 11 p.m. 

No word on where she was coming from, but she was about 2 miles from home when she was pulled over. Authorities say an off-duty Monroe police officer spotted her weaving in and out of traffic. He pulled her over at the intersection of NC 84 and NC 200. 

The officer then called NC State Highway Patrol to take over the investigation. Sgt. Mark Leach with NCSHP says, “The off-duty officer advised us there were several near collisions during this period of time.”
 
Luckily, no one was hit or hurt. Troopers say Parsons had a blood alcohol level of .14- nearly twice the legal limit.
 
Leach explains, “Their judgment is impaired at that time. Anything could happen.”
 
As a social worker with Union County's division of social services, Parsons counsels families through tough times. We took a closer look at her employment history. Since she began in 1986, she's been promoted three times and has never faced any disciplinary action. We went to her house on Monday but nobody answered the door.  A neighbor told us he's surprised to hear about Parsons’ arrest.
 
Jimmy Rushing says, “She's all right. She's sweet and everything. I ain't never seen her drink.”
 
Parsons is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 21.
 
A Union County spokesman says Parsons is still employed by DSS. When Channel 9 asked whether she could face disciplinary action because of this arrest, he said he couldn't comment on that.
 
Channel 9 also asked whether driving is part of Parsons’ job as a social worker. The spokesman wouldn't answer directly. He sent Channel 9 the link to a social worker job description and it does not include a clean driving record.