Balto. Co. officer gives guilty plea in DWI case

He failed sobriety test, chose not to try others

June 16, 2000|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

A 25-year veteran Baltimore County police officer pleaded guilty yesterday in Carroll County Circuit Court to driving drunk on Christmas Eve.

Sentencing for William E. White Jr., 48, of Eldersburg is scheduled for Aug. 22. White is assigned to the Woodlawn precinct, said Cpl. Vickie Warehime, a Baltimore County police spokeswoman.

She declined to further discuss the officer because of a continuing internal affairs investigation.

Under the terms of a plea bargain, White can request probation before judgment, but prosecutor David P. Daggett said he will argue for a suspended sentence.

White was given five years' probation 10 years ago for a similar DWI charge, said Daggett, an assistant state's attorney.

The officer sat yesterday with his head bowed as Daggett summarized the facts of the case for Judge Luke K. Burns Jr.

Daggett said an off-duty Howard County police officer had called state police on Christmas Eve to report a red, full-size pickup truck being driven erratically on Malcolm Drive in Westminster.

Troopers saw the truck weaving in and out of the northbound lane and stopped the vehicle at Route 140, where the driver, White, identified himself as a police officer, Daggett said.

The prosecutor said troopers reported that White appeared drunk, had slurred speech and needed help to keep from falling.

White failed one field sobriety test and did not attempt other tests before he was arrested, Daggett said. While seeking to take possession of the officer's loaded service weapon, which was in the truck, troopers found a cup half-filled with whiskey and soda, Daggett said.

Later, at the Westminster state police barracks, troopers said White refused to take a breath test, Daggett said.

White was charged with driving while intoxicated, consuming alcohol while driving and failing to remain right of center while driving, court records show. He pleaded guilty to the first charge; the others were dropped.

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