What Are DUI Videotaping Laws in South Carolina?

Driving under the influence (DUI) arrests typically follow a set pattern. An officer on the road suspects that you are DUI. You are stopped by the officer who then observes you and looks for any other signs of intoxication. If there are such signs, you are asked to exit the car and undergo a number of field tests. The officer also asks you to blow into the breathalyzer test.

If you are charged with DUI and the case goes to trial, the officer who has arrested you will testify against you. Instead of relying on the officer’s word, a video recording of the entire arrest is required.

The DUI laws in South Carolina and most other states require that this whole procedure must be videotaped. In fact, these laws lay out detailed requirements which must be followed when videotaping the DUI arrest.

Laws Related to DUI Videotaping

The laws governing DUI videotaping are defined in South Carolina Statues Section 56-5-2953. The laws specify that a number of requirements must be met when filming the DUI arrest. Here is a quick view of these requirements:

  • The video recording must begin before or at the same time the officer turns on the blue lights.
  • The actual arrest of a DUI person must be videotaped. The video must also include the person being advised by the officer about his or her Miranda rights.
  • If any field sobriety tests are administered, these must be captured on the video.
  • The breath test must be caught on video. This includes the suspect undergoing the breath test and the operator administering it.
  • During the breath test, the DUI suspect must be informed that he or she can refuse the test and that the entire procedure is being recorded. These proceedings must be caught on camera.
  • The video recording must include the 22-minute pre-test waiting period during the DUI arrest. If a video of this time does not exist, the officer must testify that it was physically impossible to videotape this time period.
  • The entire video recording complying with the above requirements must be submitted to the court of law where a relevant case is in process.

A number of other requirements also apply to how a DUI arrest must be videotaped. It is best to consult a qualified DUI attorney in Greenville, SC in the wake of a DUI arrest. The attorney can analyze the arrest video, see if any legal loopholes exist in the arrest procedure and then use it to build up your defense.

Why Are DUI Videotaping Laws Important?

DUI videotaping laws are immensely important and relevant to all DUI cases. If for some reason, a DUI arrest has not been videotaped, no charges can be brought up against you. This is why during a jury trial, the videotape recording of the arrest serves as the central piece of evidence for the prosecution. The prosecution has no case without the video of the arrest.

Not only that, if the video reveals any irregularities in the conduct of the officer, this may jeopardize the prosecution’s case. Both the defendant and the prosecution spend a significant amount of time in watching and analyzing the arrest video when preparing for the trial.

How Can Videotaping Laws Affect Your Case?

The DUI videotaping laws defined by South Carolina statutes favor the defendants. This means that if you are charged with DUI, your DUI attorney can consult the videotaping laws to your advantage.

The video recording of a DUI arrest is the most reliable testimony of your conduct at the time. If you were indeed sober or not impaired, a jury will be able to see that in the recording. Similarly, if the arresting officer was remiss in any way, your attorney can identify this. Such lapses can be used by an attorney to have the DUI laws dismissed or significantly reduced.

The strict videotaping laws also ensure that the police officers do not use high-handedness or unfair testimony to have you charged.

Finding a Reliable DUI Attorney in Greenville, SC

If you have been convicted of a DUI offense in Greenville, it is possible to fight the charge and have it dismissed or reduced. If any videotaping necessities are not observed, a good DUI attorney may be able to get you off with little to no penalties. Here at The Bateman Law Firm, our attorneys help you defend a DUI charge and get a fair trial. Contact us today to book a FREE consultation or hire our services.

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