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“Happy Gilmore” Actor Gets DWI In Wilmington, NC

Actor Famous for Bit Parts in Comedies Receives DWI in NC

DWIAn actor most famous for his role of “Shooter McGavin” in Happy Gilmore was arrested early in the morning on Wednesday, October 16th, on DWI charges, or “driving while impaired.”

According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, actor Christopher McDonald was pulled over by a trooper in Wilmington, where he is allegedly filming a movie called The Squeeze. The trooper believed that McDonald was intoxicated, and when McDonald agreed to a breathalyzer, he blew a 0.15. That is almost twice the current legal blood alcohol limit of 0.08.

McDonald was booked into jail on DWI charges by the NC Highway Patrol, around 4:30 AM with a $1,000 bond.

Challenging DWI and DUI in South Carolina

For South Carolina, “a breathalyzer” actually refers to a DataMaster unit, which measures blood alcohol via infrared wave readings of breath samples. These units are maintained by SLED at approved breath testing sites across South Carolina

The accuracy of a DataMaster breathalyzer depends on the unit, the timing of the testing and the testing process for the suspected motorist. Plus, there are procedural steps such as videotaping a breathalyzer test, which if omitted, can weaken the prosecuter’s ability to use it as evidence.

Breathalyzer Testing in South Carolina MUST Include …

  • The machine must be properly maintained and in working order.
  • The testing operator must comply with a 20-minute observation period before testing. This 20-minute period should be recorded on videotape. The purpose of this procedure is to rule out a false reading. If the suspected motorist had a drink just prior to testing, the reading will not be reliable.
  • The collection of breath sample must be taken within two hours of arrest.
  • The test administrator is required to be trained and certified by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.
  • The suspected motorist must be informed of a right to refuse a breathalyzer.
  • Before a breath test is administered, a simulator test must be performed on the DataMaster with a result between 0.076 percent and 0.084 percent.
  • Maintenance records on the specific DataMaster must be made available by SLED upon request.
  • The motorist being tested must be notified in writing that he or she has the right to select a qualified person of choice to conduct additional tests. The arresting officer must provide “affirmative assistance” for this endeavor or else any police-administered breath test will become inadmissible.

Sometimes, breathalyzers give false positives, and the motorist is not actually driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI). A motorist’s own biology or medical condition may give false readings on a breath test such as:

  • the depth of breaths
  • excess saliva
  • physical size
  • medical condition

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with DUI and DWI Charges

If you face DUI charges, sometimes referred to as DWI or “driving while impaired,” whether it is your first charge or felony DUI, you could feel alone and afraid. Just because you have received DUI charges does not automatically mean that you are guilty. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm have helped people who face DUI charges since 1996. We offer free, confidential consultations so you can discuss the facts of your case with impunity. Contact us for help today. 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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