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Berger pleads guilty to DWI, drug charge


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Brian Berger will not spend any time in jail for his DWI charges.

The New Hanover County Commissioner was back in court this morning closing the case on two arrests in the last 14 months.

"You're story has been played out in public more than, I think, any other elected official that I can ever recall," the judge told Berger. "Hopefully this is going to close one of those chapters and let you move on."

To close this chapter, Berger pleaded guilty to DWI and drug possession Monday morning.

"He was treated fairly," Berger's attorney Buddy Allard said. "He was treated like anyone else in the public who would have been facing the same situation."

The charges stem from his December arrest when police found Berger passed out in a car on Masonboro Loop Road. Investigators say Berger had four different types of pills on him, including two for which he did not have a prescription.

Berger was originally charged with felony drug possession, but that charge was reduced to a misdemeanor. The District Attorney's Office also dropped an impeding traffic charge as well as a DWI charge from December 2012.

"I think it allows him a perfect opportunity to address personal issues that will make things better for him in the future," Allard said.

But leaving the courtroom, Berger had nothing to say about his future.

The judge sentenced Berger to 48 hours community service while suspending a 120-day jail sentence. He will be on supervised probation for a year. If he completes that successfully, the judge said the drug charge will be dropped.

Berger began the day facing an arrest warrant for missing a court hearing Jan. 23. Berger, who found out about the warrant from WWAY, said that day he did not know he had a court date scheduled.

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if people who post put in half as much effort in being informed and getting out to the polls, Berger, White, and others would not be elected.

DUI dropped????

How does someone get a DUI "dropped"? Where was the MADD group that's normally directing DUI sentencing in NH county. My son who served his country and has been documented by the VA with PTSD that was shown to have affected his alcohol problems, could not get a DUI dropped or reduced. "Good ole boy" club is alive and still thrives in NH county.

Mr. Savage nedds to learn to read!

Dear Mr. Savage,
You need to read that the drug charge would be dropped when Berger completes the judge's sentence not the DUI or that is here in North Carolina DWI. There is a difference. By the way the PTSD diagnosis is a bunch of crap. What about all of the veterans from
World War II, Korea and Vietnam? All of those people that served our country that came back were told to deal with it, that it was "Shell Shock" and just to get over it. Most of the veterans that claim PTSD are a bunch of drug addicts and drunks to begin with. They went over to the middle east with those problems and then came back to the government giving them drugs to overcome the "shell Shock" Oh well I'm telling you to tell your son to "just get over it"!

Old Guy needs to learn to read

Dear Old Guy,
You need to read this from the story: "The District Attorney's Office also dropped an impeding traffic charge as well as a DWI charge from December 2012."

Sorry mistaken oh well

Dear Mr. Guesty,
We all make mistakes but DWI get dropped everyday in New Hanover Count and within North Carolina. Oh Well I guess one won't hurt anyone.

It's No Surprise...

Family Court here in New Hanover County is much worse!!! They lawyers and the family court judges are all "in bed together".. This is horrible for everyone who has faith and trust in our system.

Berger's Attorney

The remark from Berger's attorney that "he was treated like anyone else" is a joke. The DA's office dropped charges and reduced others and did not push for any jail time. If Berger had been poor and represented by a public defender he would not have been treated the same.

I, for one, am sick of those in positions (from Berger to Beiber) being given special treatment by the so-called justice system.

Actually, the resolution to

Actually, the resolution to his case was rather typical and anyone would have been given the same regardless of whether they had an appointed attorney or retained attorney. He was given no special treatment.

Sadly, that just means that drunk drivers get a slap on the wrist and are free to drive drunk again. Yes, they get their licenses revoked, but that doesn't keep them off the roads.

I beg to differ

I'm sorry, but my husband had two DWIs, same as Berger, and NEVER a drug charge or any other charge for that matter and was given 8 days in jail, revoked license for 36 mths, supervised probation for 36 mths, alcohol assessment to be completed, and over $3000 in court cost/fines. This was also the only time he ever was in trouble. Also it took three years for it to go before a judge and he has not been in trouble since. So who received special treatment?

Berger drama

This is like watching a weekly drama on TV. And the saga continues. It's just not one you like enough to watch. Boring as the people involved.

the BergerStuff

Well he got another break. The first DWI swept under the rug no matter how you look at it. How long did he lose his license? My guess,,,within 6 months he will have violated his probation and,,,,,,will skate on that also.

Wow, Wilmington judicial

Wow, Wilmington judicial system, why don't you just get rid of the DUI laws? Either that or give everyone arrested for TWO DUI's and a felony the same slap on the wrist you give this idiot!
What the HELL is wrong with the people running our courts?

Tracie, go sit in court for a day...

...and watch the 3-ring circus with the revolving courtroom door. What happened here is absolutely nothing unusual, it happens multple times every day. We have violent felons with rap sheets a mile long walking among us every single day looking for yet another victim. You don't think it's the law abiding citizens committing murders, shooting at each other and dealing drugs do you?
Just take the time to look up the names of arrestees mentioned on this website on the D.O.C. website. You'll be absolutely amazed at how and why they are allowed back into society! This is the sort of stuff people need to pay attention to and REMEMBER when it comes time to cast votes for Judges and District Attorney(s)!

Incarceration rates

The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. We lock up a higher percentage of our population that the other 223 countries in this regard.

The Rockerfeller laws in the 70's and mandatory minimum drug sentences clogged up the systems with non-violent drug offenses. We should not jail non-violent drug offenders and instead save that space for violent offenders.

With his possession charge...

reduced to a misdemeanor...he stays in office.

Berger's Cases

There is a reason why THIS case was his latest but his trial was for this was held before his older case. After (if) he is convicted for his older drunk driving case, this case could not have been disposed of as easily. It's not right that it was handled like this. His actions are getting worse, not better, and it's not being handled as such in the legal system. I am worried about the safety of the general public.

well i guess he got away

well i guess he got away with it, too bad

i guess it be delayed again

i guess it be delayed again

Personality Disorder?

Berger's destructive and defiant behavior is puzzling. I just wonder if he may be autistic or bi-polar.

There has to be some explanation for his bizarre behavior. Any normal person would be embarrassed--even humiliated--by the constant negative media attention.

Berger seems to bask in the notoriety. Are there supporters here in Wilmington cheering him on? There must be some Republicans who are encouraging him to defy the system, to be a thorn in the flesh of county government.

How long can this kind of behavior continue?

He is...

At the amotion in May his attorney revealed that Brian is autistic.

apparently you are new to the area

Berger has been pulling this crap since he was elected. And yes, he does bask in the media attention.