We are continuing the discussion from our last post. A man — a former North Carolina legislator — was arrested in December 2011 on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. The incident began as what could have been a routine traffic stop. The driver’s tabs were expired. When the officer ran the driver’s license, he discovered, too, that the license had been revoked.
After a few questions, the officer then asked the man to take a breath test and field sobriety tests. The man refused, and he was put under arrest. In mid-May 2013, the DWI was dismissed, but the driver wants both state and federal authorities to investigate the police department.
A comparison of the dashcam video and the police report explains why, the man told the press recently. As we said in our last post, the dashcam video shows the officer and the driver conversing for a few minutes before the officer asks about the drinking.
In the police report, the officer describes the driver as being “unsteady on his feet” and “rambling with his speech.” The report says, too, that the officer noticed the driver “had the odor of alcohol coming from his breath.” The report went on to note that once the driver was in the police car, the odor of alcohol became stronger.
When the incident was reported in 2011, the police characterized the incident as drunk driving. The former lawmaker “refused to take alcohol tests after he was caught driving drunk,” according to one news story. Nowhere in that account do the police say anything about the BAC level being 0.01 percent. The dashcam video and the police report could be from two completely separate incidents, but they are not.
If the attorney general or the FBI investigates, they will likely be looking at two facts we have not mentioned yet. First, the driver in this incident is African American.
And, second, he is former Rep. Nick Mackey, a man who has had a number of high-profile ups and downs over the past four or five years.
Source: WSOCTV, “DWI charges dismissed against former state Rep. Nick Mackey,” Tanikka Smith, May 20, 2013