Loose Lips

Marion Barry’s Son Charged With DUI After Synthetic Pot Bust

Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry's son Christopher Barry was arrested downtown last Friday after allegedly driving under the influence of drugs, court records show. A Metropolitan Police Department officer also allegedly discovered synthetic marijuana in Barry's car.

Barry, 33, has been charged with operating a vehicle while impaired, driving under the influence, and operating a vehicle on a suspended or revoked license.

The arrest could jeopardize what's rumored to be the elder Barry's plan, in the face of his own poor health, to arrange for his son to succeed him on the D.C. Council.

Barry's son stirred questions about potential political ambitions ahead of April's Democratic primary, when he sat next to his father on stage in Ward 8 as the former mayor endorsed Vince Gray's re-election bid. The Washington Informer recently quoted the younger Barry saying that he "may step up and do it," with Christopher Barry adding that "a son is loyal to his father."

Christopher Barry didn't respond to LL's request for comment. Marion Barry's Council office spokeswoman said the family wouldn't comment on the arrest on the advice of longtime Barry family attorney Fred Cooke Jr. Cooke tells LL he's not Christopher Barry's attorney on this matter. An attorney listed in court records as representing Barry in this case, Robert Feeney, didn't respond to a request for comment, either.

Barry's arrest came around 4:45 p.m. on Friday on the 1700 block of I St. NW, according to a police affidavit. Seeing a Ford Explorer that appeared to be stalled in rush hour traffic, an MPD officer approached the driver's side window. He discovered Barry, who the officer claims rolled up the window and brushed a substance that would later test positive as synthetic marijuana off of his clothes.

The affidavit claims that the car also smelled of the drug when Barry rolled down the window at the officer's request. After the officer tested Barry's sobriety with eye and balance tests, Barry was arrested on DUI, possession, and drug paraphernalia grounds. Barry was released from jail on Monday, according to court records.

Barry's license was under a one-year suspension after he pleaded guilty last November to another DUI charge in Virginia. In 2011, Barry was charged with possession of PCP with intent to distribute, but eventually pleaded guilty to less serious possession charges.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Felon Barry Junior

    Like father, like son. The ridiculous part is, every arrest that young barry adds to his record, actually improves his chances of getting elected to City Council from Ward 8.

  • herbert williams


    Secret Service arrested him. Not MPD..

  • petworthy

    He will serve Wards 8 & 9 well! Sadly, he's a shoe-in.

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  • Peter Rosenstein

    I think this is sad. Christopher had a hard time as a kid and obviously hasn't managed to get his life back on track. I hope he does and doesn't throw away the opportunities he has.

  • Reality Check 2014

    @ Peter:
    Christopher did NOT have a hard time as a kid actually. I went to middle school with him. Specifically Jefferson Middle School, where all of the other kids (such as myself) had to be tested and recommended to attend the out of boundary magnet program. Chris got in by his daddy's name, made bad grades, consistently got in trouble , yet was never put out. He has then led a life of consistently F-ing up and never being held accountable for it. Lack of accountability for his actions is the problem here, not a troubled childhood.

  • Corky

    The kids and other family members of politicians should be given some space by the news media. This includes the Citypaper (I know. It's a stretch to call the Citypaper a newspaper, but work with me here). Barry Junior isn't running for office or setting DC policy, so I don't think that his legal problems merit any more attention than that given to any other private citizen.

  • DC Dude

    There are only 8 Wards in the City, not 9

  • petworthy

    DC Dude needs to rethink his moniker.

  • Really?

    @corky and peter...agree! @realitycheck, just b/c his daddy did what countless folks (political and non-political) have done for years doesn't mean he doesn't have issues. It's been a known fact that he has been struggling for many many years.

  • Chris’s Friend

    I actually went to school with Chris as well, it was called Jefferson Junior High School then and he did get in trouble a lot. What's unfortunate is that Christopher, who is still a great friend of mine, is a really decent person who has made a slew of bad decisions, and appearently continues to do so but please don't forget that the sins of the father should not be placed on the son additionally, during his time as Mayor, the elder Barry was not just accomplished but he also made great strides to pay for his transgressions by creating alternatives for the youth of the city. Neither person and all bad but hey, let the person who is without sin cast the first stone, right?

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