LEWES — Sam Donaldson, the veteran ABC News reporter anchor who had been charged with DUI and a traffic violation in Lewes last winter was acquitted Friday after a judge ruled the police hadn't had probable cause to arrest and charge him.

Donaldson, 79, of the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., took notes through hours of testimony by the Lewes police officer who pulled him over on Savannah Road Dec. 1, 2012. His attorney, Eric Mooney, asked the judge to find there'd been no valid probable cause for the arrest, citing inconsistent times in police reports marking when sobriety tests were performed and pointing out that some roadside balance tests he was given aren't meant for people older than 65.

Court of Common Pleas Judge Rosemary B. Beauregard said she agreed that the records of the traffic stop and arrest were spotty enough to throw out the case. Some of the apparent errors, she said, "gives the court pause as to the accuracy of the information the court has received."

Donaldson, after the trial, said he was "clearly happy it turned out this way." He had been in Lewes last December with his girlfriend, he said, biking on trails in Cape Henlopen State Park.

Donaldson was a White House reporter for ABC News from 1977 to 1989 and again from 1997 to 1999. He also anchored several news programs on ABC and has covered nearly every major political party convention since the mid-1960s.

 

Attorney Profiles

Eric G. Mooney, Esq.

Eric Mooney
  • DUI
  • DWI
  • Criminal defense

Telephone: (302) 856-3070
Fax: (302) 856-2177
Email: info@dedefense.com

Michael W. Andrew, Esq.

Michael Andrew
  • DUI
  • DWI
  • Pardons and Expungements

Telephone: (302) 856-3070
Fax: (302) 856-2177
Email: info@dedefense.com

Legislative Updates

The Delaware DUI law has recently undergone significant changes with the passage of House Bill HB 168, effective July 1, 2012. The changes include stiffer penalties for a 2nd offense DUI and Ignition Interlock Device requirements on a BAC of .15 or higher. You can read about the legislation here.

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