The only child of Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening was arrested in College Park early yesterday on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol.
A Prince George's County police spokesman said that Raymond H. Glendening, 19, was arrested after failing three sobriety tests in a parking lot on Baltimore Avenue. He was charged with two counts of drunken driving and taken to the Prince George's County police station in Hyattsville, where he declined a Breathalyzer test, which analyzes blood alcohol content, police said.
After declining the test he was given 45 days to have a hearing on the suspension of his driving privileges and was released on his own recognizance.
Gov. Glendening (D) and his wife, Frances Hughes Glendening, said in a statement that they learned about their son's arrest early yesterday and that the statement would be their only public comment "until the pending legal details facing our son are resolved."
"Early this morning, we received a call that every parent dreads -- that our son had been issued two citations by the police for an alcohol-related driving offense," the Glendenings' statement said. "Today, our first duty must be as parents. We will offer Raymond our unconditional and abiding love, support and guidance."
Raymond Glendening, a summer intern in the Anne Arundel county executive's office who will be a junior at West Virginia University this fall, was charged with driving while intoxicated, which carries a maximum sentence of a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000, and with driving under the influence, with a maximum sentence of two months and a fine of $500.
A blood alcohol content of 0.10 or higher is necessary to be convicted of DWI. The level is 0.07 for DUI.
Police said Glendening was charged with both because they wanted to give the state's attorney the option of trying for a conviction on the lower charge if the higher charge was thrown out. "We believe he was at least under the influence," Lt. Andrew Ellis, of the Prince George's police, said.
Police could not bring a charge of underage driving while under the influence against Glendening -- who, at 19, is two years shy of Maryland's legal drinking age of 21 -- because police must have an analysis of blood alcohol content as determined either by a Breathalyzer test or blood sample, police said. Police had neither.
In Maryland, people younger than 21 who have driver's licenses are prohibited from driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.02 or higher, police said.
While serving as governor of Maryland, Parris Glendening has advocated tougher penalties for drunk drivers and promoted alcohol-free events.
Police would not release information about where the governor's son allegedly had been drinking or whether alcohol was found in the Chevy Blazer sport utility vehicle he was driving.
The Prince George's police officer encountered the younger Glendening in a parking lot in the wee hours Saturday.
Police gave the following account:
Glendening was behind the wheel of the Blazer driving northbound on Baltimore Avenue about 2:30 a.m. Saturday.
As he drove, with a passenger in the seat beside him, Glendening sideswiped a utility pole on Baltimore Avenue, proceeded another two blocks then pulled into the parking lot at 9091 Baltimore Ave.
A Prince George's police officer who was responding to an alarm in the offices of a building at that address saw the Blazer turn into the parking lot and noticed that the front, passenger-side window was broken.
The officer observed as the driver -- Raymond Glendening -- parked the vehicle and got out. The officer walked over.
"The officer stopped him [Glendening] to inquire what he was doing because the circumstances were a little suspicious," Ellis said. "At that point, he [the officer] thought he had reasonable suspicion to believe Mr. Glendening may have been under the influence."
The officer then administered three field sobriety tests. Ellis said that three is the typical number of tests to which suspects must submit.
Raymond Glendening was responsive to questions from the officer and was described as being "cooperative" throughout the encounter, the arresting officer said, according to Ellis.
"My understanding is he actually told the officer, `Yeah, I sideswiped the utility pole," Ellis said.
After the teenager failed the field sobriety tests, the officer took Glendening to the Hyattsville station and sent the Blazer to an impounding lot. The vehicle later was released to the family. Glendening will appear in District Court. He will be notified of his court date by mail.
CAPTION: Police say that Raymond H. Glendening, 19, pictured with his parents in January, failed three sobriety tests.