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Video from dash cam released in South Carolina DUI case

State officials have released dash camera footage in connection with a Sept. 26 DUI incident involving an educator. The woman charged with drunk driving and child endangerment was an assistant cross country coach as well as a math teacher for Spartanburg High School. She is currently on administrative leave as the incident is under investigation, and she has also been removed from the coaching position.

The incident occurred when officials were informed of a Chevy Suburban that appeared to be driving recklessly. When troopers observed the vehicle, they pulled it over. A trooper claimed that the driver smelled strongly of alcohol, and he also found that seven students were in the vehicle. A sobriety test was conducted, which the woman reportedly performed poorly on. Additionally, officials indicated that the woman refused a breath test at the scene.

Video in a similar incident could be important to a defendant and his or her lawyer in deciding how to approach a defense or a possible effort to negotiate a plea deal. In some cases, dash camera video might benefit a defendant, indicating incorrect protocol or other problems with an official's actions in conducting a field sobriety test. In other instances, such video might provide the prosecution with strong supporting evidence for DUI.

It is important to recognize that a defendant in a similar case still has the opportunity to present a defense. If medical or other issues may have contributed to an unusual driving pattern and poor sobriety test results, for example, a lawyer may assist in presenting supporting evidence during a trial.

Source: WSPA.com, "Dash Cam Video Released In SHS Coach DUI Arrest", October 21, 2014

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