DUI/DWI charges dropped against ex-Balto. Co. precinct commander

Charges were dropped Monday against a Baltimore County police officer who was stopped during a St. Patrick's weekend sobriety checkpoint in Carroll County.

Capt. Matthew McElwee, who turned 44 on Monday, previously headed the Franklin Precinct in Reisterstown. He received citations from the Carroll County Sheriff's Office accusing him of driving while intoxicated and driving while under the influence.

Prosecutors dropped the charges.

McElwee's attorney, Leonard H. Shapiro, said the state did not have evidence against his client, including blood or breathalyzer tests showing that he was impaired.

"We are confident if there was a trial that he would have been found not guilty," Shapiro said.

The Baltimore County Police Department is conducting an internal investigation, said spokeswoman Cpl. Cathy Batton. She said the department is "reviewing his status."

McElwee, who has been with county police since 1987, was transferred to the operations bureau after his arrest. Captain James P. Monahan was transferred from the county's Intelligence Unit and named the interim commander at Franklin in April.

McElwee, of Hanover, Pa. was stopped during the March 16 sobriety checkpoint. He refused to submit to a blood alcohol concentration test and was released to a sober driver, police said.

He was not on duty at the time of the stop, nor was he driving a Police Department vehicle. He did not have his service weapon with him.



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