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Columbia, SC Police Officer Charged with DUI

Policeman DUI charges

Unfortunately, a Columbia, SC policeman faces DUI charges after being drunk on the job

Police Officer in SC’s Capital City Receives DUI Charge

A police officer in Columbia, SC caused a wreck on Friday morning, December 21stHe has been charged with a DUI.

According to incident reports, 55-year-old officer Harold Julius Caldwell responded to an emergency call at the Hampton Hill Condos in Columbia at 9 AM. As he steered his car into the complex’s parking lot, when he hit a sign, then a wood and brick fence.

A privately-owned risk management team assessed Caldwell, determining that he was intoxicated and driving under the influence, which made him wreck his vehicle. City police are required to independently test city employees for drugs and alcohol at a hospital, in order to achieve impartial results.

The test determined that Caldwell was under the influence at the time of his arrest, and he has been charged with a DUI.

“When a law enforcement officer breaks the law, it is extremely disappointing,” Chief Randy Scott said in a statement. “We are held to a much higher standard in the eyes of our community. I expect more from City of Columbia officers every day. Bad behavior combined with irresponsible decision making will not be tolerated at CPD. If you break the law, you have to suffer the consequences. We talk to the public about the dangers of drinking and driving. If we as police officers cannot set the positive example for others to follow, then we have failed completely.”

Caldwell is currently suspended without pay. Chief Scott says Caldwell will be fired next week. Currently, he is being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.

South Carolina DUI Penalties by Offense

South Carolina has some of the strictest DUI penalties in the US

South Carolina has some of the strictest DUI penalties in the US

According to the Department of Motor Vehicles’ website, if you are licensed to operate an automobile or other motorized vehicle in the state of South Carolina, you have implied that you consent to chemical testing if you are stopped by police for a suspected DUI. This law is called Implied Consent. Sometimes, officials might require a blood test, even if a warrant has not been issued.

If you are over 21 and you are convicted of DUI, your blood alcohol level (BAC) will be used to dictate the severity of your sentence for each type of offense (first DUI offense, second DUI offense, etc.).  Keep in mind that the fines set forth below will more than double when you add in court costs and fees.

Penalties for First DUI Offense:

Legal consequences are listed by ascending blood alcohol levels.

If your BAC is between .08% and .09%:

  • Jail sentences for a first DUI can range from 48 hours to a maximum 30 days, although community service can be given in lieu of jail time.
  • Fines can range up to $400, plus court costs and fees.
  • You will additionally lose your driver’s license for six months.

If your BAC is between .10% and .15%:

  • Jail sentences for first DUI charges can range from 72 hours to a maximum 30 days, although community service can be given in lieu of jail time.
  • Fines can range up to $500, plus court costs and fees.
  • You will additionally lose your driver’s license for six months.

If your BAC is .16 or higher:

  • Jail sentences for first DUI charges can range from 30 days to a maximum 90 days, although community service can be given in lieu of jail time.
  • Fines can range up to $1,000, and you are required to enroll and successfully complete an Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP).

If You Face DUI Charges in South Carolina, Strom Law, LLC Can Help

South Carolina has some of the stricted DUI laws in the country. Do not let charges or a conviction prevent you from seeking job or educational opportunities. You still have rights, even if you face a court date. The Strom Law Firm can help with DUI charges in South Carolina. We offer free, confidential consultations, so the facts of your case can be discussed with impunity. Do not hesitate to contact us. 803.252.4800.

About Pete Strom

Defending criminal charges including drug crimes, DUI, CDV, mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, computer crimes, money laundering, and juvenile crimes, Pete also handles Federal and State investigations. Representing individuals in Civil Matters including Class Actions, Personal Injury, Qui Tam Actions, Defective Products, Nursing Home Neglect, and Professional Licensing Defense cases. Joseph Preston “Pete” Strom, Jr., the managing partner at Strom Law Firm, L.L.C., has been fighting for justice since 1984.

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