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DUI charges dismissed against former NFL player

Many South Carolina readers are familiar with the name Tyler Thigpen. Thigpen played football at Coastal Carolina University and became a star player in that organization. He went on to play in the NFL for the Vikings, and is currently affiliated with the Browns. Thigpen made recent headlines not for his prowess on the field, however, but over DUI charges late last year. Those charges were recently dismissed, which likely comes as a relief to Thigpen and his family

The incident that led to the charges took place last November, when police responded to reports of a SUV stopped in the drive-thru of a Horry County fast food restaurant. When they approached the vehicle, police report finding Thigpen asleep in the driver’s seat, with his foot on the brake pedal. It took officers several minutes to wake him, and upon awakening he told police that he was disoriented and confused about how he arrived at that location.

The officers describe smelling alcohol at the scene, and asked Thigpen to take several sobriety tests. An officer with the highway patrol arrived, and Thigpen was arrested. The interaction with the officers was recorded on video, but there was no sound. This was the basis for an attorney to ask that the charges be dismissed.

In South Carolina, all happenings at a suspected drunk driving site are to be videotaped. When this statutory requirement is not met, the result can be the dismissal of related DUI charges. This is the outcome for Tyler Thigpen, and is an attainable resolution for everyone in the state, regardless of their affiliation or lack thereof with a professional sports organization.

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