*Cops testifying in the drunk driving trial of actor Anthony Mackie disagreed Thursday on just how intoxicated the New Orleans native was when he was arrested in Harlem in November 2013.
Testifying in Manhattan Criminal Court, Detective Fernando Argote said Mackie emitted a “strong” odor of alcohol, was unsteady on his feet and slurred his words, reports the New York Daily News.
Officer Frank Mosca, who arrested Mackie only minutes after he was pulled over on Lenox Ave. and W. 125 Street, described the odor as “moderate,” and said he saw no evidence of unsteady gait or slurred words.
The officers agreed that Mackie — who was recently tapped to play Jimi Hendrix in an upcoming biopic about the guitarist’s life — appeared to be “intoxicated” and had blood shot, watery eyes.
Argote said he pulled Mackie, 36, over in his red sports car after he changed lanes several times without signaling and made a sloppy U-turn at Lenox and W. 126 St. that required him to back up into the intersection.
“As a courtesy,” Argote said he gave Mackie only three tickets — for driving an unregistered, uninsured vehicle with windows that were tinted too much. He gave him no moving violations.
Mackie’s lawyer, Michael Miller, suggested in his questions that Mackie’s eyes were watery because he had a cold and was taking antihistamines and the “slurring” in his speech was just his New Orleans accent.
Assistant Manhattan District Attorney Leah Branch is expected to produce a third police witness Friday who will say that an otherwise polite and cooperative Mackie refused to take a Breathalyzer test at the 28th Precinct stationhouse but he was able to walk a straight yellow line less than half an hour after his arrest.
A video of that walk was shown in pretrial hearings Thursday and showed an upright Mackie having no trouble walking the line.
The case will be decided by Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Kevin McGrath.
The charges against Mackie were reduced from a misdemeanor to a violation on the eve of the trial. If convicted, he faces only a fine, possible license suspension and mandatory enrollment in an abuse program.