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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A UNCW police officer demoted for showing up to work under the influence has made a long journey back up the ranks. Recently the department promoted him to lieutenant.

In 2010, not long after being selected as UNCW Police Officer of the Year, Charles Lindsey was demoted for reportedly showing up for work under the influence of alcohol.

Lindsey had been honored back for having the most DWI arrests in the UNCW Police Department. A few days after receiving the award he allegedly came to work reeking of alcohol.

Now he’s moving back up the ranks within the department. His recent promotion increased his salary more than $15,000.

In an official statement the university said, “Officer Lindsey fully complied with the requirements of the demotion, and he has had satisfactory performance reviews for the past 25 months. Since university or state personnel policy did not prohibit him from applying for a position at a higher rank, officer lindsey was fully eligible to apply for the promotion to lieutenant in 2012.”

The university also said Lindsey was the most qualified candidate to fill the position.

We tried to talk to UNCW Police Chief David Donaldson about the promotion, but he was not available.

Lindsey’s first day serving as lieutenant was last Wednesday.

Comment on this Story

  • Concerned Parent

    As the parent of a UNCW student who earlier in the year was approached by a UNCW police officer while his vehicle was stopped, had an alcohol level of .00, given a roadside sobriety test, had his car searched, handcuffed and taken to jail where he was held for approximately eight hours, ultimately charged with DUI and under 21 consumption (later told by the officer that he “failed” the roadside sobriety test), this infuriates me. We have paid out a lot of money trying to straighten this mess out, and the nightmare is still not over. This is such a double standard…… I can only hope that the officer’s raise is not coming from the increased tuition we are paying at UNCW.

  • Truthseeker

    He gets Police Officer of year for the most DWI arrest and then turns around and shows up under the influence of alcohol. How did he get home, drive? What happened to the old adage “whats good for the goose is good for the gander”. Another example of police officers getting different treatment from those who they arrest for the same thing they are doing. It is just not fair and demonstrates the poor decision making process that is demonstrated by UNC-W officials at every level. I bet you that if a New Hanover Sheriff’s Deputy showed up for work reaking of alcohol he or she would be fired, not promoted!

  • Kff1936

    First and foremost SHAME on many of you for judging this officer. I would say shame on WWAY but it doesn’t surprise me that they would run a story like this. None of you know the story behind this myself included, and it was a TIP therefore we don’t know how much of it is factual information. As a 3rd year UNCW student I have never felt safer on a college campus. We have never had a shoting, a lockdown, or any of the sort therefore campus police are obviously doing their jobs!!! As for Officer Lindsey’s decisions he was obviously repremanded as was stated in the report and took his punishment. Hippocrite? I think not! Those of you pointing fingers and judging are not seeing the big picture. If the UNCW police force saw him fit to take this position who are any one of us to judge. Officer Lindsey and any other law officer are protecting citizens every day!! Having alcohol on your breath and being drunk are two different things. Catholic priests have alcohol on their breath after taking communion, but no one criticizes them! I ask you all to take a step back and rethink how you are judging this man.

  • Guest9743

    Most 3rd year college students, except a 3rd year UNCW student such as yourself probably already know that “Hippocrite” is actually spelled “HYPOCRITE”.

  • Ben

    Catholic priests ( at least the ones i know) don’t carry firearms and potentially lethal weapons. Priests are also not responsible for making split second decisions for people’s safety and lives, like lets say… A police officer is. When someone is tasked with protection of the community and given a firearm, NO amount of alcohol is acceptable. Given the amount of students who are suspended by the Uncw administration for drinking, the fact that this man is still eligible for a promotion is nothing short of appalling to me as a student. It’s also very disturbing and insulting that the Uncw administration allows such a blatant double standard to exist.

  • happy to be a Guest

    Good for him to work hard and move back up the ranks.
    Just curious – when he showed up for work under the influence, did they give him a DWI or did he walk to work that day ?

    I appreciate the agency did not immediately fire him and gave him the opportunity to work hard to improve.

    How many of people that he was honored for arresting for driving under the influence received the same treatment as him ? none, that is why he was honored.

  • Guest 101

    I had that same thought? Did he drive to work that day and if so why wasn’t he charged with DWI? Was he then allowed to drive home drunk?

    I’d like to hear from the supervisor on duty, because if he was not charged after driving to work drunk the supervisor should be fired immediately. What if he had runover and killed or injured somebody??? I’m thinking UNCW would be on the hook for yet another law suit.

    This story begs for more questions and more answers…I hope WWAY will follow-up?

  • happy to be a Guest

    but as a law enforcement officer you are held to a higher standard. If you are arresting people for drunk driving – how can you show up for work drunk. You know you drove there – did he recieve a dwi ? probably not. Did he even get tested ? He made a voluntary decision to come to work potentially put people around him in danger ( driving his car – carrying his weapon ). I am glad he turned this situation around and improved. But was he really the best and most qualified ? Maybe, I do not know. Hopefully he has learned from this experience and will become a better person and officer because of it.


    always assume someone who does not kiss cop butt is a criminal??? Some of us just see the lowlife thugs for what they are. I bet you still think the Leland bunch that were fired were great heroes..your the IDIOT.

  • Charles Walters

    I never commented on the cops in Leland. From what I read about the Leland bunch the sounded more like the Keystone Cops than a real police force. I have found the most people who run police officers down usually have or have had some problem with them. That being said before you call me an idiot you should look in the mirror and see what one really looks like.

  • Guest08

    C.W sounds like a double standard to me?

  • mizzery

    You should read the first article posted by this station about the facts in the matter. He did not show up to work drunk. That’s the fact. He smelled of alcohol, was tested, registered below the legal limit, and was reprimanded for it. If they say he was the most qualified person for the job, who are we to question that? Surely they know more about Lt. Lindsey than we do – as the general public on the outside looking in through a small framed window with only the facts provided for us…

  • Kff1936

    I’m glad I was not the only one who understood that

  • Guest31415

    Concerning the previous incident (which led to the demotion)- his alco sensor test was below the legal limit. You can search for the original article from 2010.

    I suppose that is why he was not charged with DWI after reporting to work.

  • UNCWstudent10

    First off I am not saying that Lt. Lindsey should have been given a dwi, but you do not know what your talking about.

    The law does not say you must have a .08 to be drunk. Reference NCGS 20-138.1 Impaired Driving

    (a) Offense. – A person commits the offense of impaired driving if he drives any vehicle upon any highway, any street, or any public vehicular area within this State:
    (1) While under the influence of an impairing substance; or
    (2) After having consumed sufficient alcohol that he has, at any relevant time after the driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more. The results of a chemical analysis shall be deemed sufficient evidence to prove a person’s alcohol concentration; or
    (3) With any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance, as listed in G.S. 90‑89, or its metabolites in his blood or urine.

    Key word here is OR all the person has to do is be under the influence as determined by the arresting officer. Hence the fact you hear that following at DWI trials. It is my opinion that the defendant consumed a sufficient amount of an impairing substance so as to appreciably impair his/her mental and/or physical faculties.

  • Jason

    Congratulations to Lt. Lindsey – he made a mistake, faced the penalties and worked hard, for more than two years, to clear his name within the department. Sounds like someone’s simply trying to rake the mud.


    should have been fired, what a hippocrite..piece of trash

  • Guest2020

    I was going to ask you how it is up there on your high horse, until I realized that you aren’t as perfect as you would like to think. If you are going to be ugly and call someone names, you should at least learn to spell all of those names correctly.

  • Old Guy

    Lt. Lindsey??? The most qualified??? What???? When you come to work drunk how does that make him the most qualified? When you have an officer that has his Masters Degree in Criminal Justice through Penn State how does that make anyone better qualified? I’m just asking. Hey Donaldson you keeping the “Good Ole Boy” system working don’t you? Why is it that the UNCW Police Department always has the lowest morale rating on campus? Donaldson? Lindsey? Anyone else? I can’t think of any but there again keeping secrets and such is just another way of saying “let’s protect and serve”!
    I just can’t stop laughing at this point. Have a great day!

  • Charles Walters

    You are an idiot, the man took what could have ended his job in law enforcement, and turned himself around. I call that being honorable I bet he will be a better officer and leader for doing so. You on the other hand sound like a HUGE IDIOT for your statement, or maybe you are a criminal this officer busted because you did something stupid.

  • mizzery

    I could go on and on correcting your ignorant comment on a grammatical level, but I won’t do that. Instead, I will simply say it seems that the person exhibiting trash-like behavior is the one on the other end of the computer bashing a person they don’t know and completely murdering the English language.

  • UNCWstudent10

    Congrats Lt. Lindsey. It’s about time the put good officers in leadership positions. Your hard work has paid off.

  • Local 51

    It is good to see this officer to take his punishment and still work his way back up the ranks.Many People would have just quit but this young man kept his head up and make the best of the situation.I know the young man and am proud to see him continue on.Good Job LT.

  • Guest12334

    Does this mean that the whole college is going to get promoted also? I know of a whole lot of staff that is there working their butts off and they have not had a raise in almost five years. I know that there are raises going on all over in Wilmington. The water company and the trash company. The other colleges are getting raises. I don’t understand why UNCW staff hasn’t gotten theirs yet. I am ready to call it like it is. I look at all the “projects” going on around there and the raising of college prices all around for the students. Then, there is the staff who always seem to be the “last” on the list. The ones who keep that place up and running everyday who get the shun. They get emails suggesting at times that full time employees might have their hours cut. I know of at least one department which I am sure there are more that are under capacity. That need more employees in order for it to run successfully. It is difficult for some employees to want to do their job when their co-pays for their insurance continue to rise and their pay doesn’t. I guess I don’t blame them and when I cut through there and see employees hold up in a corner of a lot, just wasting time, I laugh and say good for them. Serves the college right. I understand it needs to continue to grow. What I don’t understand is how they expect staff to take care of new buildings that are already falling apart. One more rant “Fix the street lights through there before a staff member or a student gets run over in the crosswalks”. I know you have them and the light bulbs.

  • guesty

    The university also said Lindsey was the most qualified candidate to fill the position.

    If he was the most qualified, I’d hate to see the rest of that team.

  • Roger Stall Back

    Clearly, he messed up. But he did a good job, up till then. And has done a good job since. He was far from DWI. He owned up to his mistake, and it was fully exposed, several years ago. Factor that into your “Morale Meter”


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