Report: McMaster's chief of staff refused breath test in DUI arrest

Report: McMaster's chief of staff refused breath test in DUI arrest

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Mark Plowden, the chief of staff for Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster, refused to take a breath test when prompted by Columbia police officers during his arrest on suspicion of DUI, according to an incident report.

The Columbia police incident report said an officer spotted Plowden's car driving southbound in the northbound lane of Assembly Street just after midnight on Jan. 31.

The officer pulled Plowden over, the report said, and immediately asked him to step out the vehicle.

"Plowden complied and exited the vehicle needing to use the door and the side of the vehicle for balance," the report said.

The report goes on to say the officer smelled a "moderate odor" of  alcohol on Plowden.

According to police, Plowden then asked if he was going to be given field sobriety tests before saying he would not submit to him.

At that point, the report said, the officer arrested Plowden and began to search his car.

Officers said Plowden also admitted to having a loaded weapon in the car, which turned out to be a Ruger LCP9 in the center console.

Plowden was then transported to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, where he was placed in an observation room and declined to take a breathalyzer test.

Plowden was eventually released on a $1,022 personal recognizance bond.

McMaster's office has since released a statement on the matter, saying Plowden has since apologized for the incident.

"I've known Mark Plowden for 18 years," the statement said. "He is a professional and a man of integrity and honor. He is thoroughly embarrassed by this incident. He has apologized to his colleagues and to me. I am confident that the law will bring this matter to its appropriate legal conclusion. He will remain in his position with the office."

Plowden recently was named McMaster's Chief of Staff. He previously was the spokesman for the Department of Heath and Environmental Control.

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