- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 10, 2016

The chairman of the Prince George’s County liquor board was arrested for drunk driving Thursday night after becoming involved in a fender bender outside the new MGM National Harbor Casino on its opening night.

Charles W. Caldwell III, 72, was charged with DUI and reckless driving after failing a field sobriety test Thursday evening a stone’s throw from the brand new casino, according to Prince George’s County police.

Law enforcement was responding to reports of a three-car crash outside the casino Thursday evening when an officer noticed that one of the drivers involved, Mr. Caldwell, “had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his body,” Prince George’s police Cpl. Lamar Robinson told WTOP.

Mr. Caldwell refused to submit to a breathalyzer at the scene, but was given a field sobriety test and failed, according to police. He was subsequently taken into custody at around 11:40 p.m., less than two hours after the new casino officially opened its doors for the first time.

Speaking to a local Fox affiliate afterwards, Mr. Caldwell claimed he had consumed one or two cocktails during the grand opening event.

Age, not intoxication, resulted in Mr. Caldwell failing the field sobriety test, he told reporters.

“I’m 72 turning 73 next week, and I’m a little unsteady on my feet,” he told the Washington Post.

“This was blown out of proportion,” Mr. Caldwell told Fox5. “I believe they made a mistake,” he said of the officers who conducted the field sobriety test.

Mr. Caldwell said he took a breathalyzer test upon being transferred to a local police station but that the results were “inconclusive.”

Mr. Caldwell has served as the chairman of Prince George’s County’s liquor board since being appointed by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in March 2015. The five-member board, all gubernatorial appointees, are tasked with enforcing the state’s alcohol and beverage laws across Prince George’s County, which includes the newly unveiled MGM National Harbor Casino in Oxon Hill, Md.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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