Snowden, attorney general's aide, charged with DUI

Third charge for local civil rights leader

June 08, 2010|By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun

Carl O. Snowden, a longtime Annapolis activist and director of the Office of Civil Rights for the attorney general's office, was arrested early Tuesday and charged with alcohol-related driving offenses, according to Anne Arundel police.

Snowden, 55, was arrested after a county police officer saw his Acura Integra drifting in and out of his southbound lane on Route 97 near Farm Road in Crownsville, police said. It was Snowden's third DUI arrest since 2002.

Shortly before 1:30 a.m., the arresting officer reported that Snowden veered across the center line and straddled the shoulder several times before the officer pulled him over.

The officer noticed the smell of alcohol as Snowden told the officer he was leaving Baltimore and that he'd had one drink, according to the police report.

The officer then asked Snowden to perform three field sobriety tests, after which Snowden was arrested and taken to the Southern District police station. There, he took a breath test that showed a blood-alcohol level of 0.09 percent, above the state's legal limit of 0.08 percent for driving under the influence and 0.07 percent for driving while impaired, according to the police department.

Snowden was charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol, driving while impaired by alcohol, negligent driving, failure to obey traffic control devices and failure to obey designated land directions, police said.

Snowden, who is also chairman of Annapolis Housing Authority, did not return a phone call seeking comment.

He was appointed by state Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler in 2007 as the first director of the Office of Civil Rights. A spokeswoman with the attorney general's office said she could not discuss any possible discipline of Snowden because it would be a personnel matter.

His housing authority board appointment expires July 31, 2014.

Alderman Kenneth A. Kirby said he did not think the arrest and charges would affect Snowden's position.

"It shouldn't have any impact," Kirby said. "I grew up with Carl. He's a good friend of mine. … He's on top of his game."

Snowden, a former Annapolis alderman, received a year's probation and a $250 fine after he was convicted of driving while impaired and related counts stemming from a November 2002 arrest on U.S. 50 near South River. He was originally charged with the more severe offense of driving under the influence of alcohol. His driver's license also was suspended temporarily for his refusal to take a breath test, records show.

In 2005, Snowden was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and negligent driving. The disposition of those charges could not be determined.

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