Spartanburg Coach Faces DUI and Child Endangerment Charges for Drunk Driving
An assistant cross country coach at Spartanburg High School has been removed from her position after she was arrested and charged with DUI and child endangerment for driving students as she was under the influence.
On Friday, September 26th, Dedra Kiser, 42, was driving a school district-owned Chevy Suburban with 7 members of the cross country team to compete in the Lowcountry Invitational on James Island in Charleston. She was pulled over and arrested for DUI after another driver called to report her erratic behavior.
According to the Goose Creek Police Department report, a police officer who was behind Kiser’s van around 5 PM called the department because “the driver of this truck is an idiot” and was possibly committing a DUI.
“They were swerving over the fog line, straddling lanes of traffic, and almost hit another car,” the Goose Creek officer told the state highway patrol. The trooper pulled the Suburban over and “detected an odor of alcoholic beverage” on Kiser, who was reportedly chewing gum. When asked if she had been drinking, Kiser said no.
However, the state trooper conducted a field sobriety test, in which Kiser had difficulty keeping her balance. She refused to submit to a breath test after she was arrested on DUI charges.
“We talked to every parent that night and explained what was going on,” said Spartanburg School District 7 Superintendent Russell Booker late Monday afternoon. “The parents were great then and they’re great now. We did everything we could to make sure our parents and children were taken care of throughout the whole thing.”
Kiser is currently on paid administrative leave while she is under investigation. She was formally charged with DUI and child endangerment, for driving the students while she was under the influence. She was released on Saturday night, with her bond set at $997 for the DUI charge and $445 for the child endangerment charge.
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
If you face DUI charges, whether it is your first charge, or felony DUI, you could feel alone and afraid. Just because you drink and drive, especially if you are not the designated driver, does not automatically mean that you are guilty of DUI. 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