Being arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) can be a traumatic experience that can have profound effects on a person's life. If a law enforcement officer conducts a traffic stop of a driver in the state of South Carolina, and investigates the driver for possibly Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving with an Unlawful Alcohol Concentration (DUAC), that officer must follow South Carolina statutes when conducting the investigation. One of the laws that governs the conduct of an officer, while they conduct a DUI investigation, is Section 56-5-2953 (A).
Section 56-5-2953(A) states in pertinent part:
"A person who violates Section 56-5-2930, 56-5-2933, or 56-5-2945 must have his conduct at the incident site and the breath test site video recorded. The video recording at the incident site must not begin later than the activation of the officer's blue lights; include any field sobriety tests administered; and include the arrest of a person for a violation of Section 56-5-2930 or Section 56-5-2933, or a probable cause determination in that the person violated Section 56-5-2945, and show the person being advised of his Miranda rights."
S.C. Code Ann. § 56-5-2953(A)(1)(i)-(iii)(Supp. 2011).
The plain language of Section 56-5-2953(A) requires the video recording at the incident site must include the driver being administered field sobriety tests, the arrest of the driver or a probable cause determination, and must show the officer advising the driver of his Miranda rights. Section 56-5-2953(B) provides for exceptions for an officers failure to produce a video recording when the video recording equipment is inoperable. The Supreme Court of South Carolina determined that when there is a violation of Section 56-5-2953(A), and there is no evidence of an exception under Section 56-5-2953(B), the appropriate remedy is dismissal of the charge. City of Rock Hill v. Suchenski, 374 S.C. 12, 646 S.E.2d 879 (2007) and
The Town of Mount Pleasant v. Roberts, 393 S.C. 332, 713 S.E.2d 278 (2011). When an officer violates Section 56-5-2953(A), the statute and the related case law is clear, dismissal of the charge is the appropriate remedy.
If you are charged with DUI in South Carolina, the attorneys at Hall & Hall Attorneys at Law can evaluate your case, and provide you with skilled represent throughout the entire judicial process to a trial. Our attorneys in West Columbia, Lexington County will ensure that the arresting officer complied with South Carolina Statutes, when investigating you for DUI, and protect your rights.