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Is South Carolina easy on DUI suspects?

Even though South Carolina is home to some of the stiffest DUI punishments, it is still rather difficult for prosecutors to convict individuals of the crime. Some are even saying it is next to impossible to prove that someone is guilty of the offense.

Among the obstacles to DUI conviction is a law that governs video footage of DUI arrests. The law says that video recordings of a DUI arrest must also contain any field sobriety tests. The law is being interpreted very literally, though, and it is resulting in video footage with minor flaws being completely thrown out of court.

For example, an individual's feet might be obscured by the hood of a patrol car during a field sobriety test. In some cases, this could render the video footage inadmissible as evidence or it could simply result in the case getting dismissed altogether. A chief solicitor said that they have cases in which individuals were trying to wrestle against police officers, but their cases were ultimately dismissed as a result of technical aspects of the field sobriety test video and arrest video.

One assistant solicitor gave an extreme example, saying that someone could test with an alcohol content of 0.25, cause a car accident, vomit on himself and confess to drinking 20 beers, but still get off because his feet were blocking the camera's view. Still, regardless of these statements, individuals do still get convicted of DUI in the state of South Carolina; therefore, any DUI arrest and allegations must be taken seriously.

Unfortunately, no attorney can guarantee perfectly favorable results in a DUI matter, but a professionally orchestrated legal defense can be immeasurably helpful. Individuals may be able to get their charges dropped or dismissed through the successful navigation of their defense. Alternatively, they may seek a plea deal by pleading difficulty to one type of offense in exchange for lesser punishments.

Source: wtoc.com, "SC laws make it 'nearly impossible' to convict DUIs" Dianne Gallagher, Nov. 06, 2014

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