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South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper shoots man during DUI stop

Many Charleston residents have heard about the tragic outcome of an attempted DUI arrest in Sumter County last weekend.

A South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper reportedly shot and killed a man during a routine traffic stop Saturday. The trooper has said that he was trying to arrest the 25-year-old man on DUI charges when some type of struggle ensued and he shot him.

The trooper is on administrative duty as investigators determine exactly what conspired during the arrest that led to the shooting. The motorist was shot in both the abdomen and the chest.

According to The Post and Courier, the trooper administered a field sobriety test before he tried to arrest the man. The man then began to struggle with the officer, who reportedly unsuccessfully used a Taser in an attempt to subdue him. The officer then says he shot the driver to save his own life.

It is unclear at this point how or why the motorist became violent.

When someone is arrested for DUI in South Carolina, it is important to comply with the arrest. It is of course possible and wise to fight the charges later, but it is important not to add a charge for resisting arrest or to let things get out of hand. People are often angry when they are being arrested for driving drunk when they in fact are not guilty, but the only way to fight these charges is to do so in a legal manner by presenting a criminal defense after being charged.

Of course, we do not know the circumstances of this tragic case and why it erupted in the way that it did.

Source: The Post and Courier, "SC Highway Patrol trooper shoots and kills motorist during traffic stop," July 15, 2012

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