Detention Center Officer in Charleston, SC Arrested on DUI Charges
A 51-year-old Charleston detention center officer was arrested and charged with DUI on Sunday, October 27th.
Anthony E. Middleton, who is employed at the Al Cannon Detention Center, was arrested on Sunday around 3 AM. Deputies say that the man was spotted on I-26 when he failed to keep his vehicle in the correct lane. A deputy pulled Middleton over and spoke with him.
The deputy reported classic signs of intoxication, including slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and the odor of alcohol coming from Middleton. The deputy administered a field sobriety test to determine if Middleton had committed a DUI, and Middleton failed the tests.
Middleton was transported to the Al Cannon Detention Center, where he refused a breathalyzer to test for DUI.
The former guard was placed on administrative leave while an investigation into the DUI arrest is conducted.
Challenging DUI Charges in South Carolina
For South Carolina, “a breathalyzer” actually refers to a DataMaster unit, which measures blood alcohol via infrared wave readings of breath samples. These units are maintained by SLED at approved breath testing sites across South Carolina.
The accuracy of a DataMaster breathalyzer depends on the unit, the timing of the testing, and the testing process for the suspected motorist. Plus, there are procedural steps such as videotaping a breathalyzer test, which if omitted, can weaken the prosecutor’s ability to use it as evidence.
Breathalyzer Testing in South Carolina MUST Include:
- The machine must be properly maintained and in working order.
- The testing operator must comply with a 20-minute observation period before testing. This 20-minute period should be recorded on videotape. The purpose of this procedure is to rule out a false reading. If the suspected motorist had a drink just prior to testing, the reading will not be reliable.
- The collection of breath sample must be taken within two hours of arrest.
- The test administrator is required to be trained and certified by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.
- The suspected motorist must be informed of a right to refuse a breathalyzer.
- Before a breath test is administered, a simulator test must be performed on the DataMaster with a result between 0.076 percent and 0.084 percent.
- Maintenance records on the specific DataMaster must be made available by SLED upon request.
- The motorist being tested must be notified in writing that he or she has the right to select a qualified person of choice to conduct additional tests. The arresting officer must provide “affirmative assistance” for this endeavor or else any police-administered breath test will become inadmissible.
Sometimes, breathalyzers give false positives, and the motorist is not actually driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI). A motorist’s own biology or medical condition may give false readings on a breath test such as:
- the depth of breaths
- excess saliva
- physical size
- medical condition
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with DUI Charges
If you face DUI charges, whether it is your first charge or felony DUI, you could feel alone and afraid. Just because you have received DUI charges does not automatically mean that you are guilty. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm have helped people who face DUI charges since 1996. We offer free, confidential consultations so you can discuss the facts of your case with impunity. Contact us for help today. 803.252.4800