A South Carolina state senator charged with driving under the influence Saturday failed a sobriety test and vowed he would change the law after he was arrested, dash cam footage released Wednesday revealed.
Sen. Paul Campbell, a Republican who chairs the state Senate’s Ethics Committee, insisted at the scene that his wife Vicki was behind the wheel of their Mercedes Benz SUV when the car rear-ended another vehicle on a highway in Charleston County.
But the victim, 21-year-old Michaela Caddin, says she saw Campbell get out of the driver’s seat and switch places with his wife. Troopers said they were able to determine Campbell was driving the car, and arrested him for a DUI. Campbell and his wife were also charged with providing false information to the police.
“I was shocked when I heard the story he told the media,” Caddin told reporters.”I was afraid when I heard a man entrusted with so much power say something that was so different from what I saw happen.”
The dash cam footage shows the senator wobbling while trying to perform a sobriety test for the state trooper. “This may cost me my job, you know that I guess,” Campbell told the officer.
Waiting alone in the car, Campbell also vowed to take the issue to the floor, saying, “This is not fun… this kinda sucks, I hope y’all are watching right now. I’m going to change this damn thing. I’m going to change the law on this shit.”
“This is bullshit,” the senator added.
Campbell is also heard asking the officer, “This won’t make the newspaper, will it?”
Though Campbell told state troopers his blood alcohol content level was a “0.3 or a 0.4,” according to ABC News 4 he registered a .09 percent at the Charleston County Detention Center.
Caddin’s mother, Paulette Caddin-McRann, said at the bond hearing Sunday she wanted Campbell to be held accountable for his actions.
“He chose to have alcoholic beverages last night and got behind the wheel and provide false information to the police,” she said. “I hope as he sits in jail with a normal person he thinks about his actions.”