NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. - The chairman of the Prince George’s County liquor board has stepped down from his position after being charged with DUI and reckless driving last week.
Charles Caldwell was arrested Thursday night after police said he was involved in a crash involving two other cars outside of the MGM National Harbor, which was holding its grand opening.
Shareese DeLeaver-Churchill, the press secretary for Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, said in a statement:
“Under these circumstances, the governor does not have the authority to remove Mr. Caldwell from the board. However, the governor is very concerned and disappointed in this situation and has asked Mr. Caldwell to step down from his role as chairman, which he has agreed to do. Ultimately, there is a legal process that will play out in the near term and our office will be monitoring that process very closely. The current vice-chairman will assume the leadership duties of this board in the interim.”
According to Prince George’s County Police Cpl. Lamar Robinson, police “approached Mr. Caldwell on the driver’s side of his vehicle and observed a strong odor of alcoholic beverage. Some preliminary field sobriety tests were given to Caldwell, which he failed, and subsequently he was placed into custody. And at that particular juncture, he was charged accordingly.”
FOX 5 has obtained exclusive video showing a police officer conducting a field sobriety test on Caldwell. The video was provided by a couple that was in the car involved in the accident last Thursday night and shows Caldwell struggling to walk in a straight line with an officer looking on. A female passenger in that vehicle suffered minor injuries and she is still not feeling well, according to the couple.
On the day after his arrest, Caldwell told FOX 5 that he had been drinking and consumed a cocktail or two over a two-hour period. Regarding the failed field sobriety test, Caldwell said that he is almost 73 years old and is unsteady on his feet, while calling the incident "blown out of proportion."
Police also said Caldwell refused to take a breathalyzer test, which Caldwell denied. He claimed that he did take one at the police station and said, “The results were inconclusive.”
But two sources familiar with the police report said Caldwell was taken to the police station where he initially agreed to take a breathalyzer test, but then refused to complete it. The report said Caldwell blew into the machine once, but when he was asked to provide a second sample, he refused. Police protocol requires two samples for a successful test and an accurate reading of a driver's blood alcohol content.
When FOX 5 reached out to Caldwell by phone Monday and asked him about the police report, he told us he thought the machine was broken and then declined to comment further.
Caldwell was appointed chairman of the county’s liquor board by Gov. Hogan in March 2015.