A trooper with the North Carolina Highway Patrol says that a volunteer at the U.S. Open was driving a golf cart while impaired at the golf tournament on Saturday. In addition to DWI charges, the Wilmington, North Carolina, man is accused of a string of charges, including felony hit and run, felony assault on an officer and resisting, obstructing and delaying related to the alleged golf cart incident.
The trooper was working security at the recent national golf event at Pinehurst. The trooper ordered the man to stop his golf cart, according to state officials. The man did not stop and continued on his way. He was driving the cart that NBC golf analyst Roger Maltbie was using to get around the course during the tournament. Witnesses claim that the man explained to the trooper that he had to bring the cart to Maltbie.
Authorities say that the trooper was working near the 11th tee when the incident occurred. Law enforcement claims that the trooper was holding back the gallery traffic as golfers were teeing off. But, few details about why the trooper sought to hold back the tournament volunteer have been publicly discussed.
Authorities say that the golf cart struck the trooper’s leg as the tournament volunteer sought to report to Maltbie’s location on the golf course. The trooper obtained names from people in the gallery as witnesses before running after the golf cart, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.
The golf cart driver was arrested a short time after the alleged golf course interaction with the trooper. The trooper did not suffer serious injury.
We have previously discussed the broad language that is used in the North Carolina definition of a vehicle for the purposes of DWI laws. Prosecutors may often pursue DWI charges related to a golf cart during the summer. It is not clear what evidence authorities believe supports the theory that the volunteer may have been under the influence.
Source: Fayetteville Observer, “Man accused of hitting state trooper with golf cart at U.S. Open, charged with DWI,” Steve DeVane, June 15, 2014