Lawnmower Driver in South Carolina Receives DUI Charges
A 56-year-old man faces DUI charges in Wellford, SC after driving his lawnmower down Highway 29, in Spartanburg County.
According to Wellford Police, Elliot Robert Conrad III was arrested on Monday, December 10th at 6 PM, after he was pulled over for driving a lawnmower down the shoulder of the highway.
The arresting officer says he noticed cars swerving in and out of a lane of traffic. They were flashing their headlights to get a driver’s attention. Then, the officer noticed the lawnmower in the traffic lane. When approached, the officer said Conrad smelled strongly of alcohol, and his speech was slurred. He told the officer he was on his way to his home in Lyman.
He was arrested on DUI charges and taken to jail at the Spartanburg County Detention Center.
Facts About DUI Charges in South Carolina
The primary determining factors of DUI are whether:
- the defendant was driving,
- the accused was driving a motorized vehicle,
- he/she was on the road, and
- he/she was materially and appreciably impaired at the time of driving such that it impaired your judgment and ability to drive with a steady hand.
While some are more easily determined than others, the most vital question appears to be whether the defendant was actually materially and appreciably impaired.
Under the new DUI statute, proof rests on a breathalyzer to determine the culpability of a suspected DUI driver. These statutes, often referred to as per se, define DUI as driving a motor vehicle on a road or highway with a blood alcohol level of at least .08.
Before you go to trial for DUI charges, the state must show that you were impaired while driving. Quite often the test is taken a few hours later and, if you had consumed alcohol just before driving, the test would be higher than your actual level when driving. Having a BAC above the legal limit can be a separate charge, and it is considered strong evidence of intoxication. Additionally, you may be arrested for drunk driving even if you are not tested at all. Officers will often book suspects after smelling alcohol, observing slurred speech, or erratic physical behavior such as inability to stand.
However, many of the field sobriety tests such as the horizontal nystagmus gaze, walk and turn/walk the line, and the one legged stand were found to only be 65 – 77% effective. This is why officers will often use a breathalyzer test to determine actual blood alcohol level. Refusing a breathalyzer test can result in a suspended license for at least 6 months.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with DUI Charges in South Carolina
If you have received DUI charges in South Carolina, the law can be complex and difficult to navigate. South Carolina has some of the strictest DUI penalties in the country. However, the attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. Do not let DUI charges keep you from pursuing job or educational opportunities. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so do not hesitate to contact us. 803.252.4800.