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Actor filming on location gets arrested for drunk driving

The legacy of a Hollywood actor most remembered for his role in a 1996 Adam Sandler movie may be at risk. Specifically, a recent arrest for driving while impaired -- and the upcoming criminal trial -- may be the actor's next public appearance.

The actor, Christopher McDonald, was pulled over in the early hours of a recent Wednesday morning in Wilmington, North Carolina. The actor's driving may have been erratic. After he was stopped, the responding officer with the North Carolina Highway Patrol administered a breath test. The actor's reported blood alcohol content was nearly twice the legal limit, at 0.15. 

The actor was charged DWI and arrested under a $1,000 bond. According to reports, the actor was in Wilmington because of his work on a new upcoming movie. Hopefully, the arrest won't jeopardize his work.

A DWI defense attorney might caution that even a DWI arrest that didn't involve a motor vehicle accident may implicate harsh DWI sentences. In this particular case, the actor's BAC level of 0.15 may be considered an aggravating factor, calling for harsher penalties. Under North Carolina law, three or more aggravating factors can result in both a fine and jail time.

Yet state law also recognizes mitigating factors, which may help reduce a DWI defendant's sentence or be useful in plea-bargaining for alternative sentencing arrangements with prosecutors. For example, a defendant's agreement to submit to a treatment facility or undergo a substance abuse assessment -- generally accompanied by an alcohol monitoring system -- may also make a favorable impression upon prosecutors.

Source:, "'Shooter McGavin' arrested for DUI in North Carolina," Oct. 16, 2013

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