Catholic Bishop Pleads Not Guilty to DUI Charges

DUI chargesBishop Arrested for DUI in Rhode Island, Pleads Not Guilty to Charges

On Saturday night, May 4th, Roman Catholic Bishop Robert McManus, of the Diocese of Worcester, was arrested for suspicion of DUI after leaving the scene of an accident.

McManus, 61, refused a chemical test and was arrested on DUI charges. On Monday, May 6th, the bishop acknowledged his arrest in a statement to his diocese.

“On Saturday evening, May 4, I made a terrible error in judgment by driving after having consumed alcohol with dinner,” McManus said. “There is no excuse for the mistake I made, only a commitment to make amends and accept the consequences of my action.”

“More importantly,” he said, “I ask forgiveness from the good people whom I serve, as well as my family and friends, in the Diocese of Worcester and the Diocese of Providence.”

His arraignment for DUI charges is scheduled for Tuesday, May 7th. Police in Narragansett said that the bishop’s full DUI arrest report is not available yet.

DUI Charges Stem from Hit-And-Run

According to reports, McManus was stopped by police after reports that he struck another vehicle, but left the scene. At about 10:32 PM, McManus hit another car on the road, then drove away. The other driver called the police and followed the bishop to his Bonnet Shores vacation home. When police arrived, McManus refused to take any sort of chemical test to determine his blood alcohol content, and was arrested on DUI charges.

At his arraignment hearing, McManus did not say anything, and his lawyer entered the “not guilty” plea on his client’s behalf. The bishop reportedly made $1,000 bail and will be allowed to remain free.

McManus also faces an additional civil charge of refusing to take a chemical test. He is due back in court on May 28th.

DUI Charges in South Carolina

The primary determining factors of DUI are whether:

  • the defendant was driving,
  • the accused was driving a motorized vehicle,
  • he/she was on the road, and
  • he/she was materially and appreciably impaired at the time of driving such that it impaired your judgment and ability to drive with a steady hand.

While some are more easily determined than others, the most vital question appears to be whether the defendant was actually materially and appreciably impaired.

Under the new DUI statute, the proof rests on a mere reading of a machine to determine the culpability of a suspected DUI driver. These statutes, often referred to as per se, define DUI as driving a motor vehicle on a road or highway with a blood alcohol level of at least .08.

The State must show that you were impaired at the time of driving. Quite often the test is taken a few hours later and, if you had consumed alcohol just before driving, the test would be higher than your actual level when driving.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with DUI Charges

If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI, whether first offense or felony DUI, contact a South Carolina DUI Lawyer at the Strom Law Firm, LLC today. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Contact us for help. 803.252.4800.

About Pete Strom

Defending criminal charges including drug crimes, DUI, CDV, mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, computer crimes, money laundering, and juvenile crimes, Pete also handles Federal and State investigations. Representing individuals in Civil Matters including Class Actions, Personal Injury, Qui Tam Actions, Defective Products, Nursing Home Neglect, and Professional Licensing Defense cases. Joseph Preston “Pete” Strom, Jr., the managing partner at Strom Law Firm, L.L.C., has been fighting for justice since 1984.

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