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DUI video server damaged by lightning

Residents of South Carolina who have been charged with DUI may have their cases delayed due to damage to evidence caused during a storm. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) reported that the server that stores videos of drivers taking breathalyzer tests and other data related to arrests was damaged by a lightning strike. State law requires video of breath tests of those facing drunk driving charges, and this evidence is often used by both prosecution and defense attorneys.

The server contains hundreds of thousands of recordings, with videos going back as far as 1991. According to SLED, it may take three or four weeks to restore the server to working order. It is expected that defense lawyers will attempt to have DUI cases dismissed or at least delayed due to the fact that they do not have access to this essential evidence. It has been pointed out that it is incredibly difficult to build a defense case without evidence required by the state.

According to SLED, no videos have been lost, and they are expecting to recover 100 percent of the data. A Ninth Circuit Solicitor has stated that the server damage may cause a delay in some cases, but there are no dismissals expected. Additionally, few if any delays are expected because arrests that have occurred in the past month are not scheduled for trial yet.

If someone has been charged with a DUI, it is important that they understand the seriousness of the charges they face. Those convicted may face fines, license suspension and even jail. A lawyer could help someone build a defense and ensure that proper procedures were followed throughout the process.

Source: WMBF News, "Lightning strike may delay prosecution of DUI cases", July 20, 2013

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