Chairman of Prince George’s liquor board arrested for DUI after MGM opening

WASHINGTON — The chairman of the commission in charge of issuing liquor licenses in Prince George’s County was arrested Thursday night on suspicion of drunken driving after a traffic accident near the MGM National Harbor on the casino’s glitzy opening night.

Charles Caldwell was arrested about 11:40 p.m. Thursday night, Prince George’s County police confirmed to WTOP. Police declined to discuss Caldwell’s employment, but Prince George’s County website lists him as a chairman of the Board of License Commissioners.

Caldwell was involved in a minor traffic accident with two other vehicles at Monument and National avenues near the casino, which saw a crush of traffic from visitors for its opening Thursday night.

Charles Caldwell, center, is the chairman of the Prince George's County Board of License Commissioners. (Prince George's County)
Charles Caldwell, center, is the chairman of the Prince George’s County Board of License Commissioners. (Prince George’s County)

Officers responding to the collision said Caldwell “had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his body,” Prince George’s police Cpl. Lamar Robinson told WTOP. Caldwell refused a breathalyzer, but was given a field sobriety test.

Caldwell was charged with driving under the influence and other traffic-related offenses, police said.

No one was injured in the crash, according to NBC Washington, WTOP’s reporting partner. In an interview with NBC, Caldwell blamed his unsteadiness on his age and said he should’ve taken an Uber instead.

Caldwell’s arrest comes just weeks after Prince George’s County Council Member Mel Franklin was charged with a DUI in connection with a Nov. 21 crash that sent an Upper Marlboro couple to the hospital.

Caldwell was appointed to the liquor board by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan in March 2015.

The opening of the long-awaited MGM National Harbor Thursday night attracted throngs of visitors who filled the casino and resort to capacity less than an hour after doors opened at 10:30 p.m.

WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this report.

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