A York County councilman arrested last summer and charged with driving while impaired pleaded guilty recently to a lesser charge, officials said.
Councilman Paul Lindemann was convicted Feb. 10 after he pleaded down to a charge of driving with unlawful alcohol concentration, said Columbia Municipal Court Judge Dana Turner.
"I'm 100 percent glad it's behind me," Lindemann said of his former driving under the influence charge. "The alleged charge was dropped. I'm very pleased."
On July 16, police stopped Lindemann's black 2008 Audi near downtown Columbia and charged him with driving under the influence. Lindemann was scheduled to have his case presented at a jury trial Feb. 10, but the charge was dismissed after his attorney and prosecutors agreed on the lesser charge, according to a representative for Lindemann's attorney, Joseph "Joe" McCulloch. McCulloch could not be reached for comment.
Driving with unlawful alcohol concentration carries a possible 30-day jail sentence or $400 fine, Turner said. Lindemann elected to pay the fine, said Kirbie Ishmal, a court official in Columbia.
The original DUI charge came after an incident that happened as Lindemann, who was elected to the York County Council in 2006, drove near Palmetto Health Richland Hospital in Columbia. According to a police report, a police officer stopped Lindemann after watching his car lock up its front wheels while trying to turn onto Colonial Drive near the hospital. The report notes two motorcyclists told police that they witnessed Lindemann's car nearly strike them several times on Harden Street.
The report states that after speeding for several blocks, Lindemann pulled over for the officer off Beltline Boulevard. That officer reported a strong odor of alcohol coming from Lindemann, who also had slurred speech, according to the report and a video of the traffic stop that was recorded from a camera in the officer's patrol car.
When Lindemann stepped out of the car, he was unsteady on his feet, according to the report. The video -- and the officer's report -- documents that when Lindemann was asked to recite the alphabet during a field sobriety test, he told police that he knew the alphabet and held a bachelor's degree. He failed to correctly recite the alphabet and returned several times to the letter "H."
Then authorities arrested Lindemann, who refused a breathalyzer test, the report states.
The arrest and subsequent DUI charge was not a first for Lindemann. When he was 19, he was charged with drunken driving in Rock Hill in November 1999, according to a the State Law Enforcement Division.
Lindemann, the owner of Ocean Blue Properties, said he looks forward to life returning to "normal."
"The outcome is the outcome," he said. "I didn't get charged (with DUI). I'm pleased with the outcome."