Chaffeur for Agency Head Busted for DWI on Way to Inauguration

Driver says he wasn't drunk

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    AP
    Don't drink and drive, dude. It's the law.

    The driver for one of the commissioners of a city agency was busted for being drunk on his way to pick up his boss for the mayoral inauguration, according to a published report.

    Nathaniel Chambers, a chauffeur with the Department of Homeless Services, was on his way to pick up Commissioner Robert Hess yesterday morning but he only got as far as the Triborough Bridge before he was led away in handcuffs, reports the Daily News.

    Chambers, 45, got stopped in his city-issued car at the toll plaza just before 10:30 a.m. because he was in the E-ZPass lane without a pass. When he rolled down the window to speak to an officer, he "smelled of alcohol" a source told the News

    Sporting a red emergency light on the dashboard of his car, Chambers tried to wriggle out of the situation by saying he was in a rush. But MTA Bridges and Tunnels officers didn't buy it. They ordered him to get out of the vehicle, and when he couldn't stand up straight, they tried to give him a Breathalyzer test, according to the News. He refused.

    Then Chambers reportedly began arguing with the cops, at which point one of them waved the straw to a breath-testing machine in front of his mouth. While that's not an accurate way to get a reading, Chambers' blood alcohol level registered as 0.089, which is just above the legal limit of 0.08, according to the News. One of the officers then arrested him and brought him down to the station.

    Chambers denies he had been drinking.

    "I wasn't drunk," he said as he was being led out of the station in Harlem last night, reports the News.

    But it wouldn't be the first time Chambers boozed before getting on the road. He was arrested in 2003 after blowing a 0.10 and hit with a $750 fine when he was convicted the following year, reports the News. It wasn't immediately clear whether the Department of Homeless Services knew about Chambers' prior conviction.

    The department says it's taking the latest allegations extremely seriously.

    "We'll take appropriate actions regarding Nathaniel Chambers depending on the outcome of the investigation," agency spokeswoman Linda Bazerjian told the News

    Meanwhile, Hess had to find his own way to City Hall to see Bloomberg take the oath of office, but he did get there in time, according to the paper.