If a driver in South Carolina is pulled over under suspicion of DUI, the police may no longer administer a blood-alcohol test without permission or a warrant in most cases. This is due to a recent ruling from the Supreme Court where a man was given a blood test without his permission or a warrant, and two lower courts threw out the evidence because of it. The Supreme Court upheld the lower courts ruling stating that the dissipation of alcohol in someone's blood stream is not sufficient to override the requirement that police get a warrant before subjecting someone to a blood test. In the case in question, a man was pulled over after a police officer observed the man speeding and swerving. The man had two drunk driving convictions and failed several field sobriety tests. After he refused to take a breath test, the police officer took him to a hospital for a blood test but did not obtain a warrant to do so.
The South Carolina Senate is now considering a bill that would require first time DUI offenders to install ignition-interlock breathalyzers in their vehicles. If the new law passes, people who fail field sobriety tests with a blood-alcohol content of .12 percent or more would be required to connect a breathalyzer to the ignition in their automobile. Currently, the law only requires second and third offenders to do so. When a breathalyzer is installed in a vehicle, people have to pass a blood-alcohol test before the automobile will start. Under the current law, people with multiple DUIs are required to install these devices after having their licenses suspended so that driving privileges can be restored.
In South Carolina, even when a person is well under the legal driving limit, there have still been a number of cases where that person is arrested and charged with driving under the influence. To try and limit the number of people arrested and charged with drunk driving -- who are well under the legal limit -- a bill was pre-filed in the South Carolina House. This bill would make it so a person could not be charged with DUI if their blood alcohol content is below 0.05 percent.
A South Carolina woman, who is a parent teacher organization official, was recently accused of driving under the influence. However, even though she was charged with DUI, an officer never saw her actually driving a vehicle, she never admitted to driving a vehicle and it doesn't appear anyone else saw her driving either.
A 28-year-old South Carolina police officer was fired from the Rock Hill Police Department just two days after being arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence. Now, not only is he out of work, he also has to deal with being charged with DUI and allegedly refusing to take a breath test.