York County Councilman Paul Lindemann was "highly intoxicated" and "significantly impaired" when he was arrested in Columbia and charged with driving under the influence last week, according to a police report.
Lindemann, 29, was arrested Wednesday after police suspected him of drunken driving, a Columbia Police Department report states. The time of the arrest is unclear.
Lindemann, elected in 2006, could not be reached for comment over the weekend, despite multiple attempts by The Herald.
A Columbia police officer initiated a traffic stop of the councilman after observing Lindemann's black 2008 Audi A4 lock up its front wheels while trying to turn onto Colonial Drive near the Palmetto Health Richland hospital in downtown Columbia. Two motorcyclists also told the officer they witnessed Lindemann's vehicle nearly strike them several times on Harden Street, the report states.
After traveling at a high rate of speed for two blocks, Lindemann pulled over for the officer off Beltline Boulevard, the report states. The officer reported a strong odor of alcohol coming from Lindemann, who also had slurred speech. When he stepped out of his car, Lindemann was unsteady on his feet and continued to smell of alcohol, according to the officer's report.
Failed alphabet, counting tests
After agreeing to a sobriety test, Lindemann was asked to recite the alphabet. The report states Lindemann told the officer that he knew the alphabet and held a bachelor's degree. Lindemann failed to complete the alphabet, returning several times to the letter H, the report states.
Further tests revealed Lindemann could not count backwards from 32 to 18 and struggled to count his fingertips according to an officer's directions, the report states.
After failing the sobriety test, Lindemann was arrested and transported to police headquarters where he refused to take a breathalyzer test, used to measure a suspect's blood-alcohol level, the report states. He also refused to sign paperwork related to his arrest.
He was later released on bond.
"I hate that it happened," York County Council Chairman Buddy Motz told The Herald. "He just got a brand new baby. He's a real asset to the council. This is unfortunate."
Councilman arrested in 1998
Wednesday's arrest wasn't Lindemann's first run-in with law enforcement. Lindemann, serving his first term in the seat representing Fort Mill and Tega Cay, was charged with drunk driving in Rock Hill in November 1998 at the age of 19, according to a S.C. Law Enforcement Division background check. The outcome of that arrest was not available Sunday.
Seeking a second term in office, Lindemann, owner of Ocean Blue Properties, recently defeated former county councilman Jeff Updike in a June Republican Party primary. He faces Democrat Marion Davenport and Green Party candidate Bryan Smith in November's general election.