Police report: Liquor board chairman asked officers to make DUI arrest ‘go away’

WASHINGTON — The chairman of the liquor license commission in Prince George’s County, who was arrested for drunken driving last week on the opening night of MGM National Harbor, repeatedly referenced his job and asked officers if there was a way “we can make this go away,” according to a police report from his Dec. 8 arrest. 

Charles Caldwell, 72, the chairman of the Board of License Commissioners was involved in a minor traffic accident about 11:40 p.m. Thursday when his 2006 BMW struck another vehicle where traffic was merging near Monument and National avenues. Caldwell then backed up into another vehicle, police said.

The police report, released by Prince George’s County police Monday evening, stated Caldwell smelled heavily of alcohol, mumbled his speech and nearly fell over multiple times while performing a field sobriety test.

Caldwell has been charged with driving under the influence and other traffic-related offenses.

He told police he had one drink, but refused to take a breathalyzer test, according to the report.

During a field sobriety test, Caldwell lost his balance three times and “had to be caught” by officers, according to the report. Officers decided not to continue with the test because they said they feared Caldwell falling and injuring himself, the report stated.

Caldwell told officers he “had balance issues” because of his age, according to the report.

At times during his arrest, Caldwell seemed to be confused, the report stated. When he was first asked about taking a breathalyzer, Caldwell “stated that he didn’t know why he was here or why the police were asking him to submit” to a field sobriety test.

He also said that he had no memory of a traffic collision and “had no idea what the officers were talking about,” according to the report.

At the Oxon Hill Station, Caldwell agreed to take a breathalyzer but refused to give at least two valid samples, police said. Caldwell also repeatedly told officers at the station he was the chairman of the liquor board,  according to police, and became “very uncooperative,” argued with officers and refused to follow their commands.

After his arrest was reported last week, Caldwell told Fox5 DC he only had a cocktail or two over a two-hour period at the MGM opening. He also denied that he refused a breathalyzer test. Caldwell told the station he took one and “the results were inconclusive.”

Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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