DUI cases can be more winnable than most people think. But you can’t fully evaluate your case or properly develop defenses without the single most important piece of evidence: the video from your arrest and breath test—even if you refused the test, which won't automatically convict you.

Unlike human witnesses, video cameras don’t conveniently forget facts or twist them in their favor. Cameras just record the truth. That’s why South Carolina law requires these videos during a DUI/DUAC arrest, almost without exception. Our state Supreme Court has observed the purpose of DUI videos is to prevent DUI trials from being “swearing contests.” You probably had a few of those as a child, where a dispute over pulled hair or spilled milk boiled down to “did too!” and “did not!” Because the penalties for DUI can be severe, the legislature wisely passed a law to protect you, officers, and juries from deciding cases based on who yelled best, last, or loudest.

Video Evidence Can Be Vital to You DUI/DUAC Defense

In our experience, videos are usually helpful to you, the one charged with the crime. The videos contain evidence vital to your defense, including:

  • Video law violations. The South Carolina video law requires officers to record specific aspects of their investigation and the breath test. An officer’s violation of the law can lead to dismissal, even if the evidence against you is overwhelming.
  • Your driving. That’s what the case is really about, right? We’ve seen videos where our client’s driving was so flawless, we wondered how he ever got pulled over at all. If a jury feels that way, you’re off to a good start in winning your trial.
  • How the officer did on field sobriety tests. That’s right, we said how the officer did. For a field sobriety test to be valid, officers must properly give you very specific instructions. You can’t be expected to pass a test when the instructions are wrong, can you?
  • Your conduct. Often the best way to tell when someone’s under the influence is how he or she acts. How you walked, talked, and responded to the officer’s everyday instructions can reveal a lot about how you weren’t under the influence. By the way, that does not include field sobriety tests—no one does anything like that, ever, except maybe tightrope walkers or the Karate Kid.

In any case, the best shot you’ll ever have is with a trained professional. A skilled DUI defense attorney will know to demonstrate video law violations to convince a judge to dismiss the case, and to highlight how the evidence reveals your innocence for a jury to acquit you. You need an experienced lawyer who regularly handles DUI cases, since the law and the defenses can be highly technical and complex.

If you’ve been charged with a DUI in Greenville, Spartanburg, or any nearby community, we’ll meet with you for free to give you a preliminary idea how we can help you and discuss in more detail how we can defend your case. If you have any other questions about DUI cases, check out other articles we have on this site or download our free report. Feel free to call us toll-free at 888.230.1841, or email us or start a live chat right from where you are.


Rob Usry
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Rob is a Spartanburg personal injury lawyer. Rob also practices as a workers' compensation attorney.