Elementary School Teacher Faces DUI Charges, Child Endangerment Charges
A teacher from Red Bank Elementary School in Lexington County, SC, has been arrested on DUI charges, as well as child endangerment.
Jan Curtis was arrested around 7 AM on Monday, October 20th, driving to school with one of her students in her vehicle. According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, a Cayce police officer’s dash board cam revealed that Curtis was swerving over the center line and veering into the right side of the road. She then had difficulty pulling into a parking space at the elementary school.
The Cayce police officer stopped her in the parking lot at the elementary school on the basis of reckless driving. Curtis admitted that she had two glasses of wine the night before, but the officer’s report said she failed a field sobriety test. A Breathalyzer revealed that Curtis’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was .10.
The child was released to the school’s custody, and the Department of Social Services was notified of the incident with Curtis. She was then arrested on DUI charges, as well as charges of child endangerment.
Arrested on DUI Charges for Failing a Field Sobriety Test?
Field sobriety tests (FSTs) were created to help law enforcement gauge the relative sobriety or intoxication of a driver, and cannot be used to determine blood alcohol level. However, a police officer who has pulled a suspicious motorist or who is working a sobriety checkpoint can request a battery of field sobriety tests which will likely then provide the officer with probable cause for an arrest and the use of an evidentiary alcohol test.
Field sobriety tests, like other aspects of a DUI arrest, must be videotaped. Law enforcement is tasked with providing evidence of driving impairment in the conviction of a DUI. The videotape serves as a witness for both parties. NOTE: In the event of an accident where EMTs arrive first, an officer may not be able to properly videotape the scene, in which case, human witnesses will be used to corroborate testimony for either party.
The motorist has the right to refuse participation in roadside sobriety tests. Declining to take a roadside test does not carry the same consequences as refusing to take a Breathalyzer, though the motorist may be arrested on suspicion of DUI for refusing an FST. That is the police officer’s discretion.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with DUI Charges in South Carolina
Whether it is your first offense or you have a prior record of driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated, our extensive knowledge of the law and access to resources can help you avoid fines, the loss of your license, jail time and other potential DUI punishments, including a suspended license.
If you have been arrested on suspicion of DUI, you need a criminal DUI defense attorney to ensure that you do not unknowingly waive any important rights. It is a complex law, with a surprisingly large gray area of actual DUI culpability.
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