Marland Deen, president of the Charles County commissioners, was arrested last Friday at a Maryland state police sobriety checkpoint in Waldorf and charged with drunken driving and a handgun violation, state police said.

Deen, 48, was stopped at 11:18 p.m., shortly after state police set up their first checkpoint in Charles County on Old Washington Road, 300 feet north of McKenny's Self-Service Grocery, the general supply store Deen owns, according to state police and county district court records.

Deen, who was elected last November, was charged with transporting a handgun without a permit after police discovered a loaded .38-caliber revolver on the back seat of his car, said state police spokesman Sgt. H. Thomas Moore.

A breath test administered to Deen shortly after he was stopped showed a .00 level of alcohol, according to records on file, an officer at the state police barracks in Waldorf said yesterday. The arresting officer said in court documents that he "detected a slight odor of alcohol beverage coming from Deen's vehicle" and "observed that the defendent had bloodshot eyes, flushed face, slurred speech, unsteady balance, staggered walk and swayed when standing."

Deen declined to take an alcohol breath test at the scene, but took one minutes later at the nearby Waldorf state police barracks, police said. Police took Deen to La Plata, where he was charged and released on his own recognizance early Saturday, Day said.

The arresting officer, Trooper John F. Boyd, said in court papers that Deen told him he had no permit to carry the weapon and "was only doing so because he was taking a large sum of cash to the bank."

Deen declined to comment on the charges yesterday. The drunken driving charge carries a possible penalty of a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. A conviction for illegal transportation of a handgun has a mandatory $250 fine and 30-day jail term, and maximum fine of $2,500 and three years in prison. No court date has been set.