Richland County Officer Arrested for DUI
Richland County police have arrested an officer on DUI charges.
On Sunday morning, November 3rd, around 3:45 AM, a deputy noticed Steven Joshua White, 30, apparently driving erratically along Pulaski, Blossom, and Huger streets in Columbia. When the officer pulled White over, he said that he smelled alcohol and suspected White of committing DUI.
The deputy searched the vehicle and found an alcoholic drink in the center console, and an empty vodka mini-bottle, as well as another empty bottle in the back seat.
The deputy said that White was unsteady on his feet when he got out of the car. He was arrested on DUI charges.
White has been suspended without pay from the police department, pending the outcome of the DUI case.
Consequences of a DUI Arrest in South Carolina
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.
Consequences associated with a driving under the influence conviction are determined by
- the charge of a first DUI, second DUI, third DUI, or subsequent offense;
- your blood alcohol level (the higher your BAC, the stiffer the penalties);
- your agreement or refusal to take a chemical test, such as a breathalyzer (if you refuse, you will lose your license for 6 months, unless you request an administrative suspension hearing);
- minors being in your vehicle; and
- your involvement in a DUI accident.
NOTE: Your DUI defense also plays a key role in determining the final consequences.
For South Carolina, “a breathalyzer” actually refers to a DataMaster unit, which measures blood alcohol via infrared wave readings of breath samples. It is not the same as a chemical test, but it is often used to determine whether or not a DUI charge is appropriate at the scene. 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 prosecuter’s ability to use it as evidence.
Actual DUI penalties, based on the factors above, include:
- A suspended or restricted license
- Mandatory jail time or imprisonment
- Ignition interlock device
- SR-22 insurance
- Fines ranging from $400 to $10,000
- Community service
- Felony conviction
- Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP)
The court may order ignition interlock devices placed on vehicles driven by the convicted driver for a specified period of time. The ignition interlock device measures BAC and prevents the car from starting if the driver tests positive for BAC.
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