ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Berger DWI case continued to December

by Kelly Corbett
Wednesday, September 11, 2013

New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger’s DWI case has been continued to December as the district attorney’s office looks for an outside judge to hear the case.

The trial will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 10, just under a year since Berger’s arrest on Dec. 18, 2012.

Berger made his fourth appearance for the DWI charge in New Hanover County Superior Court on Wednesday, Sept. 11, represented by Attorney James “Buddy” Allard Jr., of Hewlett, Collins and Allard LLP.

District Attorney Ben David said on Wednesday that his office wants to try Berger’s case.

The blood alcohol content results totaled 0.08, at the legal limit. There are blood samples still located at the State Bureau of Investigation crime lab waiting to be tested for prescriptions and other substances.

The stopping officer was reassigned to New Jersey, so the DA’s office is also trying to bring him to Wilmington for the trial. David said he talked to prosecutors who said they would have tried the case on Wednesday if possible.

The two challenges the DA's office faces are getting an outside judge and getting the SBI blood test results back, David said. The SBI crime lab’s backlog and the need for a local lab were discussed during a January local official caucus.

Berger was stopped at 2 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18, and charged with driving while impaired and an unsafe movement violation at 200 Market St., by the Wilmington Police Department.

Police officer Adam Schwartzel made the arrest. Berger was booked at the New Hanover County Jail at about 6:45 a.m. and released with an $800 unsecured bond at about 7:45 a.m.


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