Saturday, August 11, 2012

DUI, drug charges for St. Matthews man police say fled

On behalf of Taylor Law Firm, LLC posted in Blood-Alcohol Tests on Friday, March 30, 2012

Police in Calhoun County recently arrested a St. Matthews man on suspicion of driving under the influence. The incident report offers a list of details that, if not completely analyzed with a view toward protecting the suspect's rights, could result in serious penalties for the driver.

In addition to the DUI charge, the man is also facing allegations of simple possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine, possession of crack cocaine and speeding.

Two law enforcement officers claim the driver was clocked at 45 miles per hour in a 25 zone. They also say the man refused to pull over when the officers tried to stop him. However, it is interesting that the charges filed against him do not include evading police.

According to the incident report, when the man's vehicle hit a sidewalk, one of his tires blew out. When the police approached, they apparently told him to exit the vehicle. The police report claims he was unable to walk straight and smelled of alcohol. Still, it's feasible that the man was unsteady on his feet as a result of his vehicle hitting the curb, since car accidents often make people a bit shaky.

While the officers talked with the suspect, they say they noticed a white powder on his face and what appeared to be crack cocaine in the man's vehicle. The police claim the substance was in a clear plastic bag in plain view. After a search of the vehicle, the officers found a presumably small amount of marijuana, according to the report.

The police claim the driver refused a sobriety test, which means, according to South Carolina law, his license will be automatically suspended for six months. However, sometimes special hearings can be held to give individuals permission to drive on a temporary license.

The charges against the man are very serious, but that doesn't mean he is inevitably guilty. We've discussed previously on this blog how nearly all incident reports written by police point directly toward conviction, even if the circumstances are found to be mitigating. That could also be the case here.

Source: The Times and Democrat, "Driver fleeing police hits sidewalk, blows tire," March 24, 2012

Tags: DUI charge, breath test refusal, driver's license suspension, field sobriety tests, police reports

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