Dashcam video shows Lex. Co. deputy coroner detained for DUI

Published: Aug. 20, 2014 at 11:08 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 30, 2014 at 6:13 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
Barry Wright (Source: Lexington County Jail)
Barry Wright (Source: Lexington County Jail)

WEST COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A deputy coroner with the Lexington County Coroner's Office has resigned following his arrest on Tuesday for DUI.

A check of the Lexington County Jail system shows Barry Wright was booked on Aug. 19 and charged with driving under the influence and having an open container of beer or wine in a motor vehicle.

Wright tendered his resignation on Wednesday.

According to an incident report, Wright was found asleep behind the wheel of a county-owned Ford Explorer around 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday. The car, which was still running, was parked in the middle of Kleckley Drive, the report said.

Officers from the West Columbia Police Department knocked on the window to wake Wright and then spotted an open beer can inside the SUV. The beer was "cold to the touch," said the report.

At that point, the report said, Wright exited his car but stumbled and had trouble walking to the rear of the vehicle to meet the officer so the two could talk. The officer noted Wright smelled of alcohol and was slurring his speech.

"[The officer] asked Mr. Wright his name and he responded 'Barry Wright, I'm with the coroner's office.' I asked Mr. Wright how much he had to drink and he responded, 'one beer,'" said the report. "While I spoke with him, he further told me that he bought the Icehouse on the way home, but didn't know how it was opened."

The officer then asked Wright to perform a field sobriety test, but Wright refused, according to the report. At that point, Wright was placed under arrest.

"I asked Mr. Wright where he felt like was on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being completely sober and 10 being extremely intoxicated. Mr. Wright advised he was a 1," said the report.

Officers at the scene then performed a search of Wright's car, but Wright reportedly told them that any of the beers they found "did not need to be thrown away because they were from a death scene yesterday."

Police also found receipts from a Bi-Lo store indicating the beer had been purchased that afternoon.

Wright was booked at the Lexington County Detention Center where his bond was set at $1,260 personal recognizance.

He is one of five part-time deputy coroners with the Coroner's Office.

Copyright 2014 WIS. All rights reserved.