Former Club Owner Cleared of DUI Charge: Attorney

Chris Paciello's charge was dropped to reckless driving

By Karen Franklin
|  Monday, Aug 13, 2012  |  Updated 9:23 PM EDT
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A former South Beach club owner who was arrested in February was cleared of his DUI charge Monday, his lawyer confirmed.

Attorney Michael Grieco told NBC 6 South Florida that 40-year-old Christian Ludwigsen, who goes by the name Chris Paciello, is now facing a lesser charge of reckless driving.

“It is a huge win for us,” Grieco said.

The attorney credited the "win" to police station surveillance footage and X-rays.

The first day of trial was scheduled for Monday, but Grieco said he showed a prosecutor and an arresting officer surveillance video of Paciello from the Miami Beach Police station that they had not yet seen.

The video, available on YouTube, shows Paciello emptying his pockets, undergoing a pat-down and removing his socks.

Grieco also showed prosecutors X-rays of his client that he said exhibited metal surgical implants in his ankles and shin “that would greatly hinder his ability to do the roadside exercise.”

“Prosecutors decided it would be more prudent to reduce the charge,” he told NBC 6.

A spokesman for the Miami-Dade state attorney's office did not return a call for comment Monday.

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Paciello was pulled over in his black Jaguar in February after he was spotted driving erratically northbound on Ocean Drive, according to Miami Beach Police.

Paciello performed a roadside test, but authorities “thought he didn’t perform to standards,” Grieco said. The man refused to take a breathalyzer test at the station.

The former club owner was must perform 50 hours of community service, pay a nominal fine and attend DUI school, his attorney said.

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