During police stop, DeCarlo showed House of Delegates ID Essex legislator accused of drunken driving

August 31, 1996|By Joe Nawrozki | Joe Nawrozki,SUN STAFF

An Essex legislator caught in a speed trap and arrested by Baltimore County police on a charge of drunken driving flashed her House of Delegates identification instead of the requested driver's license and registration card after being stopped, police said.

Del. Diane DeCarlo, 6th District Democrat, was reportedly in New Jersey yesterday, staying with a relative after her arrest early Wednesday on Belair Road at Joppa Road in Perry Hall.

DeCarlo would not accept telephone calls yesterday, said Phyllis Brotman, whose Image Dynamics public relations firm issued a statement from the legislator Thursday afternoon before word of her arrest became public.

Brotman said DeCarlo -- owner of the Plaza Lounge in Middle River, and formerly president of the Baltimore County Licensed Beverage Association -- offered a public apology for "an error in judgment."

According to a police report, Officer Donald Chilcoat clocked DeCarlo traveling 62 mph in a 40 mph zone shortly after 12 a.m. as she was returning from a fund-raising function.

"The defendant was asked for her license and registration card," the report said. "The defendant handed [the officer] a Maryland House of Delegate's ID card. The defendant did get her license and registration after looking for a minute."

DeCarlo's Dodge Caravan also bears special House of Delegates license tags. "Sometimes intoxicated people will hand you their credit card when we stop them," one veteran police traffic officer said. "But mostly they try to impress you with who they know in the department or in politics."

Chilcoat could not be reached for comment.

DeCarlo, 50, was arrested after failing a roadside sobriety test, and a subsequent Breathalyzer test at the White Marsh police precinct indicated a blood-alcohol level of .11 -- slightly over the .10 level defined as intoxication under Maryland law.

Police said she was charged with driving while intoxicated and having an open container of alcohol in her vehicle -- a plastic cup that had an odor of alcohol.

Pub Date: 8/31/96

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