Sober or Slammer results in arrests but few convictions
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 23:01:27 GMT —
In the last 10 days, the South Carolina Highway Patrol has given out 54 tickets for Driving Under the Influence as part of the 'Sober or Slammer' campaign.
Of the DUI arrests in last year's campaign in Horry County, 45 went to trial. Of those, 24 plead to lesser charges, 11 cases are still open and four of them were dismissed. Only six of those cases resulted in DUI convictions.
Horry County Assistant Solicitor Manuela Clayton explained that there are a number of reasons why there are so few convictions.
"There's so many loopholes. There has to be so many things that have to be done on video and for a DUI to actually make it to court and go forward to trial," Clayton explained.
Clayton's referring to many of the issues law enforcement officers face when gathering evidence. "They're worried about their safety for one, they're not so concerned with adjusting the camera. Short of having a production crew out there filming a DUI scene, you're going to have some issues with the case. There may be an issue with the actual quality of the video or an issue with Miranda rights, anything like that you are looking at a DUI getting dismissed."
The burden of proof is on the prosecutors, which is good news for defense attorney Josh Holford.
"That's a high burden and it's a high standard and our state has seen fit to make the law very strict. You don't want anyone who's had a drink or two who's driving to be arrested because it's a serious crime," Holford explained.
The Horry County Solicitor's Office said they prosecute more than 800 DUI cases a year.
Officers will be out at the North Carolina state line on US 17 after 8 pm Tuesday for 'Hands Across the Border', making sure everyone is sober and safe on our roads.