Your DUI Arrest MUST Be Videotaped

For many people, it’s the most unwelcome sight on a Friday or Saturday night. After having a few too many drinks, they make the decision to get behind the wheel of their car and drive home. When they are just a couple of minutes away, the flashing blue lights illuminate their rear-view mirror. Their stomach sinks and their mind starts racing. 

What Does the Law Require of Police Officers?

What many people pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) is that the next 15 minutes of their life must be videotaped under South Carolina law. Section 56-5-2953 states that an officer must begin taping the second they activate the cruiser’s blue lights through their recitation of the suspect’s Miranda warning and arrest. Without exception, the video must show:

  • The suspect performing any field sobriety tests (such as the one-leg stand or walk-and-turn)
  • The suspect using the breathalyzer
  • The officer informing suspects of their right to refuse a breath test
  • The 20-minute waiting period prior to the suspect performing any tests 

Generally, the suspect must be completely visible when performing any tests on the side of the road. The law requiring video evidence of DUI stops is meant to protect defendants in DUI cases. If an officer claims that the video equipment was not operating properly during a DUI stop, then the officer must complete an affidavit stating that along with the affirmation that efforts were made to maintain the equipment. 

How Can This Impact Your DUI Case?

Video evidence is usually the most reliable type of evidence in a courtroom. If you were arrested for DUI but feel you performed the field sobriety tests immaculately, the video will show the real story. More often, though, the video can show that the police officer missed a crucial step in the arresting process or that you were out-of-view when you did your field tests. 

If the video in your case does show that the police officer skipped an important step while investigating your suspected DUI, you have a good chance of getting your charges dismissed or receiving lesser charges. 


South Carolina law requiring videotaping of any DUI investigations are meant to protect both civilians and police. This requirement means that you need an experienced and competent attorney to help you defend against DUI charges. He or she can identify procedural missteps committed by the police or other happenings that may bolster your case. 

Cate & Brough, P.A. does not back down from a fight when it comes to DUI charges. A conviction for this crime can have long-lasting impacts on your life, and we will leave no stone unturned when it comes to your criminal defense. Call our firm at 864-585-4226 to receive a free initial consultation if you have recently been arrested for DUI. 

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Cate & Brough, P.A.

At Cate & Brough, we all have personal experience with family law and family court. We know more than just what the law says about your issue – we know what you are going through.

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