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S.C. rep blames rock in shoe for DUI charges

South Carolina State Representative Ted Vick is facing his second drunk-driving charge in less than a year after he was pulled over on May 14. The man's attorney argues that his client was walking in an erratic manner because he had a rock in his shoe, not because he was intoxicated. Authorities allege that they saw the man stumbling to his car as he walked in a Columbia parking garage.

Officers report that the man smelled of alcohol. He also refused to comply with sobriety tests, forcing the officers to handcuff him and transport him to the Richland County Jail. He was released after several hours, as is customary for drunk-driving suspects. Most drunk-driving defendants will be released relatively quickly in order to mount their defense before their blood alcohol levels change significantly.

The man's attorney said the authorities could not have determined that his client was intoxicated after seeing him drive just 20 feet. That lawyer, a fellow representative at the statehouse, argues that his client was not intoxicated but he was stumbling because of a rock in his shoe. It is very unusual for a drunk-driving suspect to be pulled over by an officer on foot in a parking garage, according to the man's legal representative.

The representative reportedly told officers that he had consumed two glasses of wine with dinner at a nearby restaurant. He refused to take field sobriety tests and he also declined an opportunity to take a breathalyzer test at the jail. It is not clear whether that decision will have significant legal ramifications.

This arrest was the man's second in less than a year; he was also charged with drunk driving in May 2012.

If you are facing drunk-driving charges, consider retaining the services of a qualified criminal defense lawyer. You have specific rights as a DUI or DWI defendant. An attorney can help you learn more about those rights and protect your legal interests during all phases of a criminal proceeding.

Source:  www.thestate.com, "SC Rep. Vick arrested again for DUI; lawyer blames rock in shoe" Meg Kinnard, May. 15, 2013

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