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ONLY ON 3: Officer lauded for DWI citations comes to work under the influence

READ MORE: ONLY ON 3: Officer lauded for DWI citations comes to work under the influence

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Picked as Officer of the Year then demoted after showing up to work, allegedly reeking of alcohol. He's a former marine and a former sergeant with the UNCW Police Department, but Charles Lindsey was recently demoted to officer, after showing up for work under the influence of alcohol.

Last week Lindsey attended an awards banquet for Justice in Motion, where he was honored for having the most DWI arrests in 2009 for the UNCW Police Department. In April, Lindsey was also chosen by UNCW Police as Officer of the Year. So you may find it ironic that just a few days after receiving that distinction, he was demoted for coming to work under the influence of alcohol.

"I'm sure you can understand it would be inappropriate for me to discuss any specific personnel matter or any specific circumstances," UNCW Police Chief David Donaldson said. "I do, though, have very high expectations of my staff and will hold my staff accountable, and that accountability may be visible in the matter of personnel action or if circumstances warrant a criminal action."

Sources tell WWAY that Lindsey had been out for a big night on the town and still had alcohol in his system when he came to work the next day. We know a supervisor smelled alcohol on his breath, and had him take an alco-sensor test. Several hours after coming to work, Lindsey blew a .05 blood alcohol level followed by a .07. That's under the legal limit, but still against policy for an officer on duty.

It does not appear that Lindsey was out on patrol that morning, and he was not caught breaking any laws, so no criminal charges were filed. But because of the demotion, his salary took a $10,000 hit.

"We have very high standards for our community, and in turn we have very high standards for our staff," Chief Donaldson said. "Our community has very high expectations of us, and in turn we work very hard to provide a professional police force for them."

Lindsey did not respond to our request for an interview. We did speak to Barb Lynch of Justice in Motion, the anti-drunk driving group that recently honored Lindsey for all of his DWI arrests. She tells us his award will stand, because it's based on arrests made before his recent demotion.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Looks like Officer Lyndsey got friends to post on here

From what you pro-Lyndsey people are saying on here, nothing the news say is true and this was just a way to sully his "good" name. Look at what is presented and tell me that he didn't drive drunk to work. Also look at what the standards are in most other, dare I say "real", police departments are. Most police officer's would have been fired for this type of behavior. 1 reason why his BAC could have been lower the first time is that he didn't blow hard enough the first time. Another, as pointed out before, is that he had so much to drink, so close to when he came to work, that it was still processing in his body and his BAC would continue to escalate. Regardless of what you think, he should have been fired. Wouldn't most people get fired for coming into any other government job get fired for blowing a .07 at work? Yes. Yes they would. Don't argue this, because you can't.

I'm so sorry, but...

Do you know the facts? Obviously not since you spelled his name wrong. It's LINDSEY. And he did not, in fact, drive to work drunk. I am a friend, and I will take up for my friend until the day I die. Because, unlike you - I KNOW him. So unless you were there, know the exact circumstances, and have every single fact there is, you cannot pass the judgement you wish to. He is a good man, and he's kept you free to run your ignorant mouth. You should be thanking him, rather than berating him.

It is amazing to me how many

It is amazing to me how many of you believe everything you read on this website. Just because it is in print and from a news station does not mean it is legitimate! It is really nice for a news station to say "from a source" because how will we know who the source is, or if they are actually telling the complete truth? Furthermore, I am guessing that none of you know all the details of the situation, nor do you know Officer Lindsey. Don't be so quick to judge. You should not point fingers at other people until you make sure your own hands are clean first.

Also, some of you are saying he was impaired because he allegedly blew a .07. I hope the next time you are pulled over and blow a .07 the officer looks at you with the same narrow-minded views and arrests you on the spot! He allegedly broke policy, NOT the law. Get over yourselves. Also, not once in the article did it say anything about Officer Lindsey driving. Maybe he drove to work, maybe he didn't...we don't know and we cannot assume things nor can we believe everything we read.

guest7, he's a policeman. he


he's a policeman. he showed up to work with alcohol in his system. though he was under the legal limit to drive, he was surely feeling "buzzed."

are you honestly suggesting you are comfortable with allowing policement to do their jobs under the influence of alcohol? wish to lower the standards of duty for police officers in the united states?

cops don't have to be any better or worse than the rest of us out of their uniform. when they're in uniform and on duty, they'd better damn well hold themselves to a higher standard than the ordinary citizen... otherwise they (with their guns, nightsticks, TASERs, etc.) do not deserve our trust.

The truth

Guest 7:

You bring up an interesting point - how do viewers / users know that what we report is the truth?

Everything we report can either be backed up with facts, or we can attribute it to someone in the know.

We are only as good as our credibility, and if we lost that, we might as well run Andy Griffith re-runs instead of producing newscasts.

While comments posted after stories may not be legitimate, rest assured everything in our stories is. And in the rare case that it's not, we'll always make every effort to correct or clarify it.

Thanks for checking out our site and for leaving a comment.

Scott Pickey
WWAY News Director

The fish rots from the head

Scott, your comment isn't reassuring nor gives any creedence to the legitimacy of the story. I don't find a lot of "facts" in the story and I find it disturbing that most of this story is based upon "we can attribute it to someone in the know."

It smells like a smear campaign either by another officer, the supervisor or someone willing to put a knife in Officer Lindsey's back. In law enforcement, this is the equivalent of throwing a grenade in his bunk and the police chief should focus on fixing a department that allows that rather than running his mouth for sound bites trying to be the big man on campus.

FACT: He did not have a BAC level for DUI
FACT: He wasn't on patrol so all the morons coming up with scenarios of murdered co-eds need to give it a rest
FACT: No one was injured by his actions
FACT: Officer Lindsey won and deserved an award for arresting those guilty of DUI
FACT: He used poor judgment
FACT: He's paid a very high cost for poor judgment including a significant salary hit
FACT: If he wasn't a good cop, UNCW would have canned him, there's no union to protect him
FACT: He is a good cop
FACT: The police chief got a huge raise a few years ago under a questionable justification and officers got their overtime slashed and department morale is bad.
FACT: You can attribute the aforementioned facts to someone in the know.
FACT: WWAY took a cheap shot. Grow a set of journalistic cojones and go after the chiefs poor leadership of the department which is the real story.


Here, I'll close your bold so it doesn't flow to the rest of the page. Doesn't matter if he was on patrol or not, he was on-duty with a service weapon. It will be wonderful the next time he is on the stand in court, I imagine it will be something like this:
Lawyer "So officer Lindsey, you pulled my client over because you thought he was swerving but in reality it may have been you that was swerving since you have been known to come to work under the influence of alcohol."

WWAY didn't take any cheap shots, they reported FACTS. I'll even list them for you
FACT: He is a police officer
FACT: He was on-duty
FACT: He blew a .05 and then a .07
FACT: Dumb move by him and will likely result in his certification being revoked.

Amazing how many rockin' chair.....

...judges, jury's, expert testimonials and executioners writhe out of the woodwork on issues such as this!


This officer must have had an odor of alcohol prompting his supervisor to test him which is fine. What doesn’t make sense is how the news got this story. Sure he did wrong but to make this a public issue without him being charged in a public place is absurd. According to the law, he was not legally impaired at a 0.05 to 0.07 therefore would not have been arrested at that level. To me, this guy’s name is ruined. If he would have been fired for drinking on the job fine, coming to work after a late night and smelling of alcohol is not newsworthy to me. Sorry, we have worse things going on in our community.

Kudos to Barb Lynch for not stripping him of his award. Bad things can happen to good people, let’s just drop this issue; this guy has been prosecuted without being charged.

UNCW has a pile of trouble on their hands

You telling me that a man carrying a gun, charged with protecting the lives and safety of the general public blowing a .07 "hours" after coming to work is not newsworthy?

Suppose your daughter was being assaulted at the start of the day, she went into a coma, never recovered this UNCW punk cop was the first responder and got a confession from the man who attacked your daughter, arrested him, then later at trial the testimony of this sorry excuse for a law enforcement officer was thrown out because someone smelled alcohol on his breath and your daughter's murderer walks.

How would you feel then buddy?

You've been reading those detective magazines again!

That will cause you to have bad dreams and become paranoid!


if he first blow.05 then blow .07 doesnt that mean his body was still prossing alcohol and that it could of been high than that in 15 or 20 min. and would that indicate he had something to drink more recent than the nite before?


Officer Lindsey's BAC never reached above .08, the legal limit. He therefore was not breaking any laws. Also, if he drove to work, his BAC was not over the legal limit, therefor he is not guilty of DUI. This article even states his highest BAC was .07.

Officer Lindsey is deserving of his award. He is not a hypocrite as he was not driving while impaired. He has taken many drunk drivers/offenders off the road; people who could have hit and killed your loved ones.

Most of the officers at UNCW are great officers, and that includes Officer Lindsey. They work hard and do the best they can. They are the first people to be blamed for something, but they are also the first people you all call with a problem. They risk their lives on a daily basis and deserve respect.

.08 limit

The .08 limit only makes it supposedly automatic. Katherine Bell Moore was charged with double 00's. I was charged with an .06, but of course found not guilty. It depends on their mood.

You don't even know DWI laws...

You have to have a 0.08 BAC to get a DWI... don't rush to judgement when you don't even have your facts straight...

What everyone has to

What everyone has to understand is Officer Lindsey's BAC was NEVER over the legal limit, therefor, he would not have been driving while impaired. If you would have paid attention to this stupid article that never should have been written, you would see the highest his BAC ever got to was .07. The legal limit is .08. He never reached it. This article should never have been written and whoever leaked the story should be extremely ashamed of himself!

I think YOU need to pay closer attention...

The article reads "Several hours after coming to work, Lindsey blew a .05 blood alcohol level followed by a .07". Several hours? And your going tell me, he would not had been over the legal limit? Yeah right...well i got some ocean front property I want to sell you fools in Kentucky.


I'm really glad you can read! And I'm really amazed you believe everything you read. Especially since WWAY3 didn't cite their source...yep, that is REAL believable!

UNCW police = Sheriff's policy of tolerance

Obviously you do not understand the law when it comes to DWI, Driving While Impaired. The driver does not have to blow .08 or above to be arrested, they have to present being impaired. The BAC backs the officer up.

In my opinion Lindsey was impaired. He went to work so hungover from the night before he blew .07 hours after coming to work. He drove to work drunk and should have been arrested and fired.

Was he by anyway ever employed with the Sheriff's Department? All this tolerance of deputies and officers is too warm and fuzzy for me. If one of my employees (they are all employed by the citizens) were to commit a crime, then they are gone, and personnel matter or not every one would know why.


I have one question for you...where in the WWAY article does it say Officer Lindsey was driving? Oh doesn't. I do believe actually driving a vehicle is a main part of a DWI. not judge Officer Lindsey. You were not there, nor do you know all the facts. Do not assume things and do not believe everything you read.


So he goes out for a big night on the town.. The supervisor was jealous and wanted revenge, saw the opportunity and seized the moment....
You see.. LEO always looks out for LEO.. UNLESS.. Someone has it out for you...
Had one of my staff I liked who did a good job for me come in after a long night,, I would quietly send them home.

However, if it was someone I did not like, or was fearful of losing my job to.. Then I would send them to Medac for a blood test...

Sounds like the supervisor was jealous and WANTED to get him in trouble and knock him off his pedestal…
Doesn’t make it right, but MANY people have come into work after a celebration night with “leftovers” in their system.. But it didn’t make the news and was not reported to the media like this was…
UNCW LEO is still full of Good ol boy politics I see…

"UNCW LEO is still full of

"UNCW LEO is still full of Good ol boy politics I see…"

So, his supervisor demotes him for coming into work with alcohol in his system, and you call that "good ole boy politics"?

You may not understand what "good ole boy politics" is.

This is a personnel issue.

This is a personnel issue. Leave it to wway to stir the pot. You are most likley assisting the demise of this guys career. I dont know him or anyone there, I dont think this warrants to be the first story on you website. When is WWAY going to report on more positive stories?


you are right and we should all take it personnel that a person that is sworn to protect our children decided to come to work drunk. i relize that .07 isnt legally drunk but he should of known better, but dang close


Whats so personnel about a more than half drunk officer with a gun driving around a college campus? I know he didn't get the chance to do that but was going to do it. That was poor judgement and who knows what other poor judgement he could have made that day.

When will WWAY report "positive" stories you ask?

When "positive" stories happen, they'll be reported...which is what WWAY, WECT, and FOX have been doing. Yes, this is a personnel issue, but also is a story worth being brought to light. WWAY isn't "stirring the pot" by reporting this story.

Cover Up

You are telling me he did not drive to work? People get DWI's for much less including just being in a parked car drunk. So, this guy deserves his day in DWI court. it may save his life some day.

Do you call this arrogance or stupid?

Was he so arrogant he thought he was above the law?

Or, so stupid he didn't realize he should have called in and taken a sick day.

In either case, he's right up there with pro athletes when it comes to the cost of a night out -- $10,000. And that hit will cost him year after year.

police officer under the influence

I don't understand why he didn't get DWI if it was a citizen they for sure would have been given a citation for driving under the influence there again we have the old double standard a citzen gets arrested but a police officer gets demoted for how long a few weeks and then all is forgotten he will be right back were he was not you or me we would be in jail well that's the law for you

Gotta love it! Such a fine

Gotta love it! Such a fine set of officers these UNCW police are. Can you say hypocrite?