DUI Defenses in South Carolina
There are a few defenses against a DUI in South Carolina. One defense could be that the officer illegally stopped the person or vehicle. A driver can’t be stopped unless the officer has a reasonable and articulate basis to believe that a traffic law has been violated. The defense that the evidence should not be introduced into evidence because lack of probable cause would eliminate any testing done to show what the blood alcohol level was. If there was no reasonable suspicion to stop the car, there will not be any evidence introduced. Inaccurate field sobriety testing is another defense against a DUI that falls under reasonable suspicion. An officer can’t use an inaccurate field sobriety test as reasonable suspicion for a DUI. An anonymous report of drunk driving can also not be a basis for stopping a car. The officer must have his own reasonable suspicion the driver was driving under the influence.
Another defense could be that the breath test taken by the driver was inaccurate. The defendant can show that the proper protocol for administering a breath test was not followed. In South Carolina, every breath test device that is used must be listed on the Federal List of Approved Breath Evidential Instruments. If the breath test device is not listed on an approved list of devices, the results are inadmissible. The defendant can also show that the proper rules of testing, analysis and preservation recommendations of a defendants’ blood test were not followed. The defendant can also try to show that he was not advised of their breathalyzer rights. Since South Carolina is a implied-consent state, the police officer must have informed the driver of the consequences of refusing to take a test to determine his blood alcohol content.
Since all DUI arrests must be videotaped, the defendant can show what really happened by looking at the video. If the video contradicts what the officer says, the defendant can use that as a defense.
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