Charleston County deputy arrested on DUI charge says he ‘just lost control’

A Charleston County sheriff’s deputy urinated on himself and took out a 10-foot section of guardrail before his “bad night” came to an abrupt conclusion in jail early Sunday, authorities said.

Charleston police arrested 37-year-old Nicholas Wagner on a charge of driving under the influence. Wagner smashed into the Interstate 526 West on-ramp at U.S. Highway 17 around 2 a.m. Sunday, according to a police report.

Wagner was off duty and driving a personal vehicle at the time of the wreck, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Supervisors placed him on administrative leave without pay.

A witness called in the crash after watching a white Lexus SUV crash into the guardrail, the report said. A Charleston police officer noted that the Lexus was totaled and that Wagner “smelled of an alcoholic beverage, had glassy eyes, slurred speech, and he swayed as he walked,” according to the report.

The report said Wagner told the Charleston officer that he “had a bad night,” and that the wet spot on his pants was not from the car wreck but instead happened when he urinated on himself earlier in the night. The deputy told the officer that he came from downtown and “just lost control,” the report said.

No one was injured in the collision.

Wagner refused to take field sobriety tests, according to the report, so the police officer arrested him. The officer took Wagner’s gun from inside the Lexus and took him to the Cannon Detention Center.

Wagner refused to let the officer check his mouth during a breath alcohol test, according to the report, and jail staff booked him in. He was released the same morning, shortly before 9 a.m., on a personal recognizance bond.

Wagner could not be reached for comment. Sheriff’s officials said Wagner started with the department in the county jail in July 1999 and transferred to the Sheriff’s Office side as a deputy March 2002.

Reach Allyson Bird at 937-5594 or