A May 2013 drunk driving charge against a South Carolina legislator was dismissed by a judge during a hearing on Oct. 29. According to reports, the judge decided to drop the charge because police did not read him his rights on camera as is required under state law. However, the legislator is still facing drunk driving and weapons charges from 2012.
In his most recent case, the lawmaker said that he had a glass of wine before walking to the State House garage. An officer reportedly witnessed the man walking side to side and leaning momentarily on a wall before getting into his vehicle. The officer then stopped the man after he ran over a traffic cone. After making contact with the man, the officer allegedly detected the smell of alcohol coming from him.
Police claim that the state representative refused to perform a field sobriety test, and he was subsequently apprehended. A jury was shown a video of the man being taken into custody, and an officer claimed that he was read his rights off camera. This was the second time the lawmaker’s attorney tried to have the case dismissed on such grounds. A first attempt was rejected by a judge after prosecutors showed an affidavit saying that the man had been read his rights.
Those facing drunk driving charges could face time in jail, a fine or a license suspension or revocation. It may be worthwhile to hire a DUI defense attorney to help dispute the charges. Like in this case, charges may be dropped due to failure of an officer to follow state protocol when taking a driver into custody for suspicion of impaired driving.
Source: The State, “DUI charge against SC legislator Ted Vick tossed on a technicality“, Andrew Shain, October 29, 2014