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High breath test does not result in DUI charges for deputy

When a defendant is facing criminal charges for driving under the influence of alcohol, the situation can seem very scary and hopeless. This is especially true when the traffic stop results in a high breath test.

In South Carolina, anyone that has a blood alcohol content (BAC) result higher than .15 is considered to have a high BAC and is subject to immediate and automatic driver's license revocation. However, the outcome does not always need to be this serious. This is evidenced by a recent case involving a South Carolina deputy.

Earlier in the summer, a fellow officer discovered a deputy sitting in his county-issued patrol car and parked in the middle of the driving lane of a roadway. When the police officer activated his sirens, the deputy pulled over to the side of the road. The responding officers felt that the deputy was not acting right but could not smell alcohol on his breath and he had told them he had not been drinking.

Two highway patrol troopers then administered a field sobriety test and stated that the deputy looked as if he had consumed alcohol earlier but was not so impaired that he could not drive. However, he was taken to the police department for a blood alcohol test. At the station, his breath test came back with a result of .15.

The man was not charged criminally but was suspended from work without pay. Two days after the incident, the deputy willfully terminated his employment for personal reasons.

Although this man did not face any charges for his high breath test, it does not always initially happen like that. However, for those who do face high breath test charges, there are ways to challenge them. The most likely strategy is the challenge the credibility of the machinery used to measure the accused person's blood alcohol content. There are many proven errors with breathalyzers and DataMaster tests that can, at times, make them an easy target in court.

No matter what the circumstances surrounding the drunk driving charges, it is important not to give up but to instead research the situation and raise a strong defense.

Source: WISTV.com, "Deputy driving cruiser with BAC of .15 not charged," Jason Old and Jody Barr, Sept. 10, 2012

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