Harford council chief charged with DUI

October 17, 2006|By Justin Fenton | Justin Fenton,Sun reporter

Harford County Council President Robert S. Wagner was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol yesterday morning after a witness observed him pulling his truck into a Bel Air assisted-living facility, falling out of the vehicle and scraping his face on the pavement, authorities said.

Wagner, a 49-year-old Republican who served on the council for 16 years, was to oversee his last council meeting tonight after being defeated in a particularly bruising primary election. He could not be reached for comment last night.

Wagner allegedly failed two sobriety tests and told a sheriff's deputy that he had been drinking vodka, said Robert B. Thomas, a spokesman for the Harford County Sheriff's Office. He had been found just after 10:50 a.m. sitting in his truck, which was pulled into two parking spots at Catered Living of Bel Air, an assisted-living facility, according to Thomas. Wagner's mother lives at the facility, according to two people who did not want to be identified because they are close to Wagner.

A witness called 911 about 10:45 a.m. after seeing a man fall out of his truck and seem dazed, Thomas said. Wagner's speech was slurred, his eyes were bloodshot and he had a cut on his face, Thomas said.

A test showed that Wagner's blood-alcohol level was higher than the legal limit of 0.08 percent, Thomas said, though an exact figure was not available.

Wagner, of the 300 block of Prospect Mill Road in Bel Air, was placed under arrest and taken to the sheriff's northern precinct in Jarrettsville, where he was issued a citation charging him with driving under the influence, authorities said. He was released, and no date was set for his trial.

justin.fenton@baltsun.com

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