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Anthony Mackie trial begins in New York

As some New Yorkers may know, testimony in the criminal trial against actor Anthony Mackie has begun. The trial court heard testimony on Feb. 19 from law enforcement about the circumstances surrounding his November 2013 arrest.

Mackie, a New Orleans native, was charged with a misdemeanor, but the charges were reduced before trial. He faces tickets for an uninsured and unregistered vehicle and having excessively tinted windows. If he is convicted, the actor may have his license suspended, be fined and be required to take an alcohol abuse program.

A detective said he witnessed Mackie making a U-turn and lane changes without using a turn signal on W. 126th Street and Lenox Avenue. After stopping Mackie, the detective said he noticed a strong alcoholic odor and that the actor was not speaking clearly and was unsteady. Another officer described the situation differently in court, saying that there was a moderate alcoholic odor emanating from the actor moments after he was stopped, but he did not notice the other signs of intoxication as described by the detective. He did tell the criminal court that Mackie had reddened watery eyes and appeared impaired.

Testimony showed Mackie refused a Breathalyzer test. However, he performed a sobriety test at the police station without a problem. The test was videotaped and played in court. The actor's attorney said his client's eyes appeared red and tearing because he had a respiratory infection and used antihistamines. He also said his speech might have appeared slurred due to his accent.

An individual who is taken into custody on charges of drunk driving may benefit from speaking with an attorney. The attorney may review the charges and determine if the evidence and testimonies support them. If not, the attorney may ask that they be dropped or lowered.

Source: New York Daily News, "At trial, cops disagree about actor Anthony Mackie's level of intoxication during his 2013 arrest in Harlem," Barbara Ross and Jefferson Siegel, Feb. 19, 2015

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