Being accused of drunk driving is a serious event for anyone. For those who hold a position in which their primary focus is serving the public, such a charge can be devastating. South Carolina residents place a great deal of trust in the officials tasked with looking after public safety. When one of those individuals faces DUI charges, that trust is threatened.
Such is the case in the recent story of a Goose Creek police officer who was recently charged with DUI. Following his arrest, his name, photograph and employment information has been spread across various forms of media. As a result, many in the community may be questioning the sincerity of the man’s promise to serve and protect.
The officer was not on duty at the time of the arrest. He was traveling on I-526 when he encountered a safety checkpoint. Officers manning that station believed that the man was impaired, and asked him to submit to breath analysis and field sobriety testing. The off-duty officer refused both, and was arrested.
As of the time of this report, there is no word on whether a breath analysis was eventually obtained or the results of any form of sobriety testing. For those in South Carolina who are distressed to learn that a police officer is facing DUI charges, it is important to remember that not every arrest leads to a conviction. In many cases, these charges are dropped before they ever reach court, and many others who face DUI charges are eventually found not guilty. Just as any other citizen deserves to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, this officer is also entitled to the benefit of the doubt.
Source: ABC News 4, “GCPD officer charged with DUI“, , Oct. 6, 2014