Larry Shaheen resigns from senator's campaign after 2nd DWI arrest

by: Mark Becker Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A man who has been the driving force behind many political campaigns in the Charlotte area -- most of them Republican -- resigned from at least one of them after he was arrested for DWI for the second time in less than a year.

Court records show that a state trooper stopped Larry Shaheen early Sunday morning in uptown Charlotte after the trooper said Shaheen made an illegal left turn.

According to court records, the trooper who pulled him over wrote that Shaheen had a slight odor of alcohol and said he'd had a drink 30 minutes earlier. He also noted Shaheen was very upset.

Upset enough that when the trooper took Shaheen to the jail for a breath test at 1:23 in the morning, Shaheen replied, "I ain't signing (bleep).”

Shaheen refused to take the breath test, so at 2:48 in the morning, a nurse took a blood sample for testing.

It's the second time in less than a year Shaheen has been charged with DWI, and the officer who arrested him last May noted that he was uncooperative toward doctors and nurses, yelling and screaming and threatening to sue police.

Court records show Shaheen pleaded guilty to that charge in August and was given a suspended sentence.

No one answered the door at Shaheen's home Monday afternoon, and Eyewitness News left messages with Mecklenburg County’s Republican Party but had not gotten a reply.

State Sen. Jeff Tarte, who had Shaheen working for his campaign, told Eyewitness News that Shaheen called him Sunday night to tell him about the latest arrest.

“He knows he made a huge mistake. We're all very lucky that where he was, no one got hurt,” Tarte said.

Tarte said he considers Shaheen to be a friend, but has accepted Shaheen’s resignation from the campaign.

“He really, at least in my view, needs to step away, likeI say, get focused on this and get this problem under control,” Tarte said.

Shaheen’s first court date is in April. His attorney told Eyewitness News on Monday that there will be no comment on the charges.