A Lowcountry woman on the other end of a crash with a state senator this weekend disputed the lawmaker’s account of what happened in the incident that led to his DUI arrest.
State Sen. Paul Campbell, R-Berkeley, was charged with DUI and providing false information Saturday evening after he rammed into the back of Michaela Caddin’s vehicle on Interstate 26 westbound near mile marker 204.
During a press conference Tuesday, Caddin’s attorney Matt Yelverton said his client could file a civil lawsuit against the senator. “It would be a suit that lies in negligence. And frankly negligence per se, admit that there was a violation of statute,” Yelverton told reporters at his office in Charleston.
Caddin said she saw Campbell and his wife switch seats after the collision. Caddin said the senator also approached her to ask if she wanted to move their vehicles. When she insisted waiting for law enforcement, she said Campbell handed her his Senate business card and said, “Let me know what you’d like to do.” The Charleston Post & Courier reports part of the exchange was recorded on Caddin’s 911 call.
Campbell told Highway Patrol troopers his wife was driving and he had only exited his vehicle to ensure his wife did not also get out. Troopers determined that Campbell had been driving at the time. Investigators said Campbell had a blood-alcohol content level of .09 (the legal limit in South Carolina is .08). His wife Vicki was also charged with providing false information.
Senate rules require a senator be suspended if charged with a felony, but both of the charges against Campbell are misdemeanors. “I’d encourage the senator to reflect on this. To take responsibility and hold himself accountable,” Yelverton said.
The South Carolina Club for Growth, a state chapter of the nationwide conservative political action organization, has called for Campbell to step aside immediately.