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Man charged with DWI after North Carolina car accident

An interesting case in North Carolina has led to the head of the Oak Island Water Rescue unit being charged with DWI. The 59-year-old man was arrested on the evening of June 15 after being involved in a car accident at the Oak Island Pier. The man was later apprehended at his home where he was arrested and charged with DWI.

Reports vary as to whether the man was responding to a helicopter crash off Oak Island. A police officer who later went to the man's home questioned him about the car accident he was allegedly involved with and asked if he was responding to the helicopter crash when the car accident occurred. The man allegedly stated he was but when asked whether he was aware of the car accident, he stated he was not.

Police believe the man backed into another car close to the scene of the helicopter crash but then drove away. At his home, the man was given several field sobriety tests, which police say he failed, and his blood alcohol content registered as 0.14, over the legal limit of 0.08.

In a later phone interview, the man stated he was told earlier on the day of the accident that his Yorkshire terrier had passed away in a sudden and unexpected accident at the dog groomers. He was devastated at the loss of his pet and ended up having some drinks and eventually went to bed. He later denied that he was acting in an official capacity at the scene of the helicopter crash, blaming it on coincidence because a friend's home happened to be nearby.

He was arrested on suspicion of DWI and also hit and run. The man was transported to the Brunswick County jail where he was released by a magistrate. This North Carolina incident appears to be a sad case of someone grieving over the death of a loved pet and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Whether the accident was actually caused by the man's alleged alcohol consumption will have to be proven by prosecutors. As of now, the man is innocent until proven guilty and will soon have the opportunity to refute the charges against him.

Source: Star News Online, "Oak Island water rescue chief charged with DWI," F. T. Norton, June 15, 2012

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