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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger bonded out of jail around 7:30 p.m. Friday after being arrested overnight for DWI and drug possession.

A judge Friday afternoon denied a request by prosecutors to increase Berger’s bond from $5,000 to $15,000. Berger’s attorney Buddy Allard said he spoke to Berger’s family Friday. They said they would not post his bond.

A New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said Friday morning, Berger said he would post bond, but no one came to get him before 1 p.m. At that point, Berger had to stay to make his first court appearance by video from jail at 2 p.m.

WPD spokeswoman Linda Rawley said police got a call about a car stopped in the middle of the 3500 block of Masonboro Loop Road at 12:47 a.m.

“I was pulling into my neighborhood, and there is a car in the middle of the intersection. They’re parked. And it looks like somebody’s head is on the steering wheel, and they’re not responsive,” a female caller told a New Hanover County dispatcher.

The caller said the car was directly across from Parsley Elementary School. She said she was parked in the intersection with her hazard lights on to try to keep someone from hitting the vehicle.

“I tried honking on the horn and knocking on the door, but nobody is communicating with me, and I’m not trying to pry and look inside the car, but I’m not sure exactly what is going on,” the caller said.

The caller said it was a four-door black car with New York plates. Dispatch notes show it is a rental car.

“The way the car is parked, it looks like they were making a left-hand turn,” the caller told the dispatcher. “But, there’s no blinker on or anything, but they’re in the direction of incoming traffic.”

When the fire department and police arrived, they said they found Berger unconscious and slumped over the steering wheel. Rawley said officers also found several different pills with him.

According to dispatch notes, EMS reported Berger was out of the vehicle seven minutes after the initial call, awake and talking.

Berger is charged with DWI, impeding traffic and possession of schedule II drugs. Investigators said the pills they found were all prescription.

Berger is scheduled to be back in court Dec. 19 on the drug charge. His next court date on the DWI charge is set for Feb. 20.

This is the second time Berger has been arrested for DWI in less than a year. WPD arrested him on Dec. 18, 2012, for the same crime. Berger is due back in court Tuesday on that charge. The case has been delayed, in part, to allow the arresting officer, who now lives in New Jersey, to testify, District Attorney Ben David has said.

We reached out several times Friday to all of Berger’s fellow commissioners. None of them has returned our calls for comment.


Comment on this Story

  • guest111

    Ok you two. These posts are for fun and to let your opinion be known. There’s no need to take this personally. Be nice guys. Play pretty! Santa’s watching.

  • guesty

    Looks like some of that Surf City sand has gotten up in your crack and made you grumpy. You posted at: “Where
    Submitted by SurfCityTom on Mon, 12/09/2013 – 8:08am.
    does it state he was bailed out?” and then you post: “It very clearly shows a time line of 7:45 PM on the 6th as to when he bonded out.”

    When I look at my calendar, 12-9 comes after 12-6.

    You say you updated your post but you were not smart enough to remove inaccurate information? And you say I’m the one with trouble?

  • JF N Mamma

    Prior to rolling out into the middle of the street, Berger was parked on the side road of the neighborhood across from elementary school. At some point he pulled over there to rest / sober up. In his intoxicated stupor, dude managed to roll out into the main road and came to a rest in the middle of M Loop Road. Witnessed 20 minutes prior to 911 call.

  • guesty

    You, the same one that couldn’t find the answer that was directly on the screen is asking me if I can read? Here ya go big guy: “FIRST ON 3: Brian Berger bonds out of jail after DWI arrest
    Submitted by WWAY on Fri, 12/06/2013 – 7:45pm.”

    I have posted many times blasting those that either didn’t vote or voted for our reelected city council members. I have also posted that I did not vote for them but for others.

    Cute one Tom, now back to your corner.

  • Wesley

    He should resign. This is a disgrace and a very bad example of a so called leader to our young people. He was irresponsible plain and simple. Some will come here and say; awww he made a simple mistake..that’s bulls*it. He knew what he was doing when he got behind the wheel. Yes FIRE his ass! It’s deplorable to see politicians getting away with anything. They are working for US not the other way around. He needs to resign and go into rehab at HIS expense not mine.
    To the prier woman poster who said “he’s cute I’d date him” PATHETIC!

  • RSmith

    Once he was sober he could be bonded out by a bailsman without further supervision.

  • SurfCityTom

    do you know how to read?

    It very clearly shows a time line of 7:45 PM on the 6th as to when he bonded out.

    My post was written prior to that time, when he had not bailed out. And was updated when he did finally bond out.

    of all the items one could cover on this topic, you sure show no imagination. Yet another attempt to put me in the corner which failed.

    Where will you be when he runs for re-election? will you even show up at the polls? It’s apathetic voters who allow travesties to gain public office.


    What Idiot bailed Mister Berger out of jail? When he gets his 3rd DWI and hurts someone I hope the person who bailed him out is charged as an accessory!!!!! He needs people to quit enabling him. Whoever you are that bailed him out you are not doing him any favors. His own family wouldnt post bail and they love him and are his biggest fans. They know its time for tough love. Good job helping make the problem continue.

  • North Carolina Native

    I hope Stone stays and you leave Guest7969. Using a turn signal is a novel idea in the most dangerous city in NC to drive in. It’s people like him who could possibly make a difference in my auto insurance rates. I’d like to see thugs, law breakers, drug addicts, self serving politicians and narcissists like yourself leave and take up residence outside the USA. Please leave.

  • compassionate citizen

    This is an example of where our health/mental system is failing. Where is the compassion for a person who so clearly needs some help. Do we wait for a mass shooting to analyze with 20/20 hindsight?
    The system is a failure, one cannot force an adult to get help unless they are a danger to themselves or others. Driving under the influence and falling asleep in an intersection is clear danger to himself and to others. Let’s be compassionate. Brian should; however resign from the commissioner’s seat and devote attention to healing.

  • Mack

    Yep! Happened again. Brian is a “troubled” man.
    I sorta like Berger. He’s like an old Timex: Takes a Lickin’ and Keeps on Tickin” over-and-over. But, CRAP, BRIAN…!!! Aren’t YOU tired of this manure piling up in your life that yoyu seem to fall over in, face-first? Heck, Dude! DUMP YOUR SHRINK and have a chat with the Duck Dynasty Dudes, and you’ll have a new lease on life! Though a little late for much “damage control” efforts NOW.

    WHO was he with right before he drove? Obviously they don’t give a crap for him, or he would not have been allowed to leave in that condition. TRUE ‘FRIEND’ for sure.

    If the drugs were HIS… he should have had them in his prescription bottle. GOD KNOWS HE DOES NEED A LOT OF PRESCRIPTION MEDS. Too bad any he has been on aren’t worth crap, either. In fact, most everything in his life isn’t WORTH CRAP. HE doesn’t seem to be WORTH CRAP.

    Honestly, I hope he escapes any felony conviction. He really does not deserve that. One more issue, and if I were HIM — I’d swallow a bullet.

    I’m am sure he will lose his driver’s license. But I hope they will allow him to drive straight to and from his psychiatrist office. Hell, he NEEDS that option more than eating food. Just sayin’ suppose.

    I just hate to maybe see him on a moped, trying to get to Commissioner’s meetings now. “Woody, I was LATE this time, because of the TRAFFIC!” Ole Woody, who loves to demean people anywho — will have an ‘erectory episode’ over this latest fiasco. Don’t suppose Woody will, ‘out of the goodness of his little pea-pickin-heart’ will represent Brian in court? Woody could do an arrogantly bad job, which is easy, and poor ole Brian would LOSE as Woody Woodpecker skips out of the courtroom with a S.E. Smile on his face! Ya know Woody, he sheds no tears when Brian trips up.

    Brian really needs to start his own TV reality show, sort of like “Celebrity Rehab” but call it “Losers & Boozers” or Nutts & Guts” — or maybe “Psychiatric Failure Camp” where mentally ill folks gather to brag about their medication non-compliance and how misunderstood they are by their psychiatrist(not to mention the rest of the world!). If they boasted about their “achievements, that segment would only take a few minutes of an hour program, as I suspect most of ther time would be spent on blaming others for their dilemmas.

    But, in all sincerity, I do hate this for Brian. Underneath that THICK head of pathology, likely lies a caring heart and good intentions, who would rather get attention for what GOOD he can facilitate — than what bad he seems to instinctively instigate upon himself. I really feel empathy for Brian. He can’t seem to catch a break. It would be tragic to have undergone all this mess to somewhat evade the amotion to remove him — and turn around and fall in the trap that would make his removal a matter of law, without the remaining Commissioners lifting a finger. Well, they’d probably life a THUMB in agreement, or High-Five until their palms are raw. Woody would.

    This all proves one thing to me: Brain should have FIRED his psychiatrist / psychologist long ago. That professional relationship isn’t worth a malted milkshake at a Dairy Queen. They have utterly FAILED at helping Brian behave like a normal humman being. FAILED, FLUNKED. I hold them nearly as responsible for his errs, than I blame Brian. If a person is unstable, it is the professional obligation of the professional in whom he relies, to use their brain and training to KNOW their patient, and provide the resources and support necessary, for their betterment in optimal treatment. That’s called “Best Practices” and if Brian was too much of a pain in the butt for them to manage properly, it is a responsibility to hand him over to someone who may be more inclined to better care for his mindful needs. That may be a stay in the Oaks, or at least closer monitoring.

    BRIAN is the POSTER BOY for MENTAL HEALTH. As any local NAMI member will attest, dealing with those who live with mental health issues is horribly challenging. For the patient, but any family, even friends and those who might have to interact with them. GETTING BETTER takes a lot of time, patience, and the professional they rely on has to have the capacity to care beyond the call of duty. I don’t think Brian really had the caliber of support HIS CONDITION demanded.

    So… what happens? Relapses that just compound a profound problem.

    So, instead of local law treating Brian as a mental patient, knowing his behavior is a direct manifestation of his psychiatric pathology — he will be treated like a CRIMINAL. How is THAT really going to help. In fact, in this county — IF THE POLICE RESPONDED TO BRIAN at 100-miles per hour around a curve — and plastered their cortex into the bark of a tree … Brian would also be charged with manslaughter. So, guess it could have been worse.

    Brian needs some Rehab or in-patient treatment to stabilize him. Maybe the court will acknowledge that and make it happen. We all need a “RESET BUTTON” from time to time. Folks like Brian usually need some assistance in achieving that awareness and reaching that Button to press. For whatever good “Divine Intervention” can be, I will pray for Brian, as I hope you will. And, pray, too, for his mental health pros, that they get their heads out of their butt — or refer Brian to someone who CAN Make the Difference which is essential to Brian having any functional life, peace — and safety.

    And, maybe pray for the prosecutors, that they will allow themselves to be guided by INSIGHT rather than a reflexive INDIGNATION.

    THANKS for reading my OpEd.


  • guesty

    The large text at the top of the story states: “FIRST ON 3: Brian Berger bonds out of jail after DWI arrest”

    Any other questions?

  • Guest2929

    Berger hasn’t stood up for anything. He rolls over with all of them. I’ve looked at voting records and I didn’t once see him dissenting from the majority.

    Brian is just a very disturbed person with a drinking and maybe pill problem. Two DWI’s in one year? That’s crazy.

    Brian, go take care of yourself. Move somewhere, get a job that will let you make rent, any job, start a business, eventually, and start your whole life over. There’s more to life than being a (roll over) County Commissioner.

    Go and find it.

  • GuestBurger

    This just gets better and better! What’s next?!?!

  • GuestReality

    Better stay off the highways while he’s out loose (don’t worry, it shouldn’t be too long)…

  • SurfCityTom

    does it state he was bailed out?

    Hid family chose not to.

    Unless it was an unsecured bond, I’ve seen no indication someone posted bond.

    Update; another media source reports bail was posted on Friday evening around 7:45PM.

  • lonetraveler

    Charged with possession of Schedule II drugs and then the reports goes on to state that all the pills were prescription.

    Of course the pills are prescription…….but whose prescription? LOL. I’m assuming here that since he was charged with possession, the prescription wasn’t his.

    He is a joke and a disgrace and I’m sick and tired of seeing his face and name pop up like an unwanted pimple. For God’s sake, put this man out of our misery.

  • craig

    Sir ( it was how I was raised) My son whom I love is an addict. He is 2 years clean and sober and I am most proud. Go to AA. It works. Go where ever you need to go but just go. You sir need help. Take care. I close all my emails with take care. It was the way I was taught.

  • William Jefferson

    You have been watching too many Seinfeld episodes. Slipped something into his drink. That’s a good one! Sarcasm, eh.

  • guest111

    Who was the idiot that bailed him out to turn him loose on society again?

  • guest111

    Someone had to help him. He didn’t just walk out of jail.

  • I Care Why


  • 1234543

    food for thought, there is no doubt Berger walks to the tune of a strange duck, but could he be truly that far out in left field to be passed out in an intersection, he has obviously created some strong enemies in his circle of politics, and he keeps overcoming, so let’s back up a little, wouldn’t it be ironic if he was slipped a little something into his drink or food and it overcame him, I have to think it’s just time for him to be retired, but what if the lone wolf was being targeted because he stood up and opposed wasting taxpayers dollars, is this possible in today’s time?

  • Juiwanna

    He should be fired, period.
    He has had MORE excuses and he always acts like a little BULLY.

  • guest22

    Mr Berger is a scholar and a gentleman. If needed, we need to start a fund drive to get him out by Christmas.

  • guest7969

    Has two interstates called I95 N and I40 W…pack up and take one!

  • Ed Jones

    Yes, Brian should resign his commissioner seat and permit the commission to appoint a replacement who will serve the county responsibly. He obviously needs help, but we need an elected official who can and will perform responsibly, and Brian has amply demonstrated, repeatedly, that he is not the man for the job!

  • Susan Miles

    Resign???? REALLY? You’ve got to be frickin’ kidding me. HE SHOULD BE TERMINATED FOR GOOD THIS TIME! I honestly don’t know how he managed to get back on the board last time!

  • Someone can get the help they need, when and if they want it… all they have to do is go to the telephone book, towards the front and its right there in the “A” section. Alcoholics Anonymous.
    I hope Brian will find it, regardless of all other concerns.

  • SurfCityTom

    during Woody White’s failed amotion attempt?

    More importantly, will you be at the polls for the next election?

    Absent an otherwise disinterested and apathetic voter base turning out in force in 2014, Mr. Berger may well gain re-election.

  • Stone Tyler

    New Hanover Co. deserves this man. He reflects everything I’ve come to know about people in these parts. He drives the same, too. No turn signal.

  • Gramps1945

    Another outrageous stunt by Berger.
    And the World yawns………

  • OhMy

    I wish I would not of read the comments and can only hope some were just sarcasum. My family and I live off of the loop road and I would appreciate this multiple offender not being able to drive anywhere near my home. As for the politics really folks do we want this person representing or town.

  • Sean

    It’s like we have our very own Rob Ford. He just needs to smoke some crack and hire some prostitutes. We’ve become so metropolitan!!

  • spinster

    So he has multiple problems and frequently shows the worst judgement. What else is new? Sorry Brian. “If you dance to the music, you have to pay the piper.”

  • Susan miller

    Are you kidding me…this guy is still a New Hanover County Commissioner. He should have been fired/released of his duties long ago for just being arrested the first time. he’s a joke to the county & a hazard to the county on the board & on the streets.
    Get rid of him.

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