‘Walking Dead’ actor Wilson staggers to DUI charge in PTC stop
A cast member of the AMC television series “The Walking Dead” was arrested Aug. 18 in Peachtree City on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Actor Scott Wilson was arrested after tests showed a blood alcohol level of .155, nearly double the legal limit.
Wilson, age 70, of Los Angeles, Calif., was charged with DUI alcohol and failure to maintain lane, according to incident reports obtained from Peachtree City Police.
The actor plays Hershel Greene in “The Walking Dead,” now filming its third season in nearby Senoia.
The Aug. 18 incident occurred at approximately 2 a.m. when police responded to the area of Ga. Highway 74 and the city baseball/soccer complex in reference to an anonymous complaint about someone driving erratically, police reports said.
The officer said he observer a Chrysler-made PT Cruiser a short distance to the north traveling at a speed well above the limit. The incident report noted that Wilson’s vehicle swerved back and forth in its lane and crossed the lane boundary line several times in the vicinity of Dividend Drive. The vehicle was pulled over at Hwy. 74 and Crosstown Drive.
The officer said he immediately detected the odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle. Wilson complied with the request to produce his driver’s license, though he fumbled through several documents while attempting to find the insurance card, the report said.
Wilson subsequently told the officer that the vehicle belonged to his sister. The officer noted that during the exchange Wilson’s speech was slurred and thick-tongued.
Wilson told the officer he had driven from Founders Restaurant in Senoia. Upon being asked how much alcohol he had consumed, Wilson at first said, “several.”
“I asked him to clarify and he stated a couple. When I asked what kind of drinks, he advised scotch and wine,” the incident report said.
The officer said he could detect a very strong odor of alcohol when Wilson exited the vehicle, adding that Wilson agreed to field sobriety tests. Prior to the tests the actor asked the officer if he knew his cousin, named Miller. Wilson then said his cousin’s name was Wilson.
When asked to clarify, Wilson said his mother’s name was Miller and that she had married someone named Wilson.
Wilson during the field sobriety check had difficulty with the horizontal gaze test due to swaying and having difficulty concentrating, police said.
He was unable to complete the “walk and turn” test, saying his spine was “out of joint” due to his role in a television series, remarking that the road surface was slanted and appeared to be unable complete the test after four attempts. Wilson was also unable to successfully complete an alphabet test, police reports said.
The officer then administered an initial breath test indicating a blood-alcohol level of .143. Two additional tests performed at the police department showed a blood/alcohol level of .151 and .155. The legal limit in Georgia is .08.
Wilson, born and reared in Atlanta, has been a leading character actor for four decades.
His breakthrough roles happened in the same year, 1967, with the release of “In the Heat of the Night” — in which he played the murder suspect being sought by Rod Steiger and Sidney Poitier — and “In Cold Blood” — in which he portrayed the murderer of a Kansas farm family in author Truman Capote’s famous docu-novel.
Wilson has more than 50 film credits from the 1960s to the 2010s, including “The Great Gatsby,” “Dead Man Walking” and “Pearl Harbor,” according to media reports.
Wilson joined the popular AMC cable series “The Walking Dead” in its second season, playing veterinarian and Greene family patriarch, Hershel Greene. The new season, now filming in Senoia, opens in October.