In the early morning hours of Dec. 6, a North Carolina county commissioner was taken into police custody on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. He was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance, misdemeanor DWI and misdemeanor impeding traffic. This is the fourth time the New Hanover County commissioner has been taken into custody since he was first elected in 2010, and it is the second time he has been in police custody on suspicion of DWI this year. In addition to the DWI charges, a report suggests that he has previously been arrested for a traffic violation and assault.
According to a Wilmington Police spokeswoman, at 12:47 a.m., on Dec. 6, a police officer discovered a vehicle stopped near Masonboro Loop near Masonboro Sound Road and Navaho Trail. Inside the vehicle was the New Hanover County Commissioner slumped over the steering wheel and unconscious. The spokeswoman said that the officer also allegedly discovered pills of various types in the commissioner’s possession. New Hampshire state law will require his automatic removal from the board if he is convicted on the felony charge, and a fellow commissioner said that he hopes the commissioner will resign.
In a separate incident, on Dec. 18, 2012, he was stopped by Wilmington police and was charged with DWI. At the time of that incident, his blood-alcohol content was .08 percent, which is over the North Carolina legal limit. He is scheduled to appear in court for that charge on Dec. 10.
Individuals who have a history of DWI charges and convictions may be confronted with increasing penalties with each conviction. A North Carolina criminal defense attorney, who works with individuals who have multiple DWI convictions on record, might be able to reduce penalties stemming from an additional conviction. The attorney may be able to introduce evidence during a trial and suggest leniency based on the facts of the case.