On Sunday December 28, a South Carolina Sheriff was arrested after he allegedly struck a vehicle and left the scene of the accident at approximately 6 a.m. 63-year-old Wayne DeWitt, Sheriff of Berkeley County since 1994, is now charged with DUI and leaving the scene of a wreck involving personal injury, according to a news article at Turnto10.com. He was granted a personal recognizance bond on Sunday evening at the Hill-Finklea Detention Center.
DeWitt was driving a county-owned pickup when the crash occurred. After leaving the scene of the accident, SC Highway Patrol troopers were investigating the crash and were notified that a pickup truck matching the description of the one DeWitt had been driving was stopped by Hanahan Police. Troopers then drove to the traffic stop and determined that the truck was the one involved in the crash, and that DeWitt was the individual driving the truck.
According to SCHP Sgt. Bob Beres, DeWitt was determined to be under the influence of alcohol after performing a field sobriety test; he refused a breathalyzer after being taken to the detention center.
Judge James A. Polk said that because he refused the Datamaster breath test, DeWitt is facing a maximum of one year in jail for the charges; his driver’s license was suspended for six months. Ironically, the sheriff’s arrest came during the “sober or slammer campaign” developed by his office, a campaign in which deputies step up their efforts to reduce the number of people driving under the influence. This campaign is part of a $62,569 federal grant awarded to the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office by the state’s Dept. of Public Safety’s Office of Highway Safety in November.
Michigan DUI defense attorneys are all too familiar with the harsh penalties those convicted of driving under the influence face. Add to that a crash causing injury to a negligent person and fleeing the scene, and the consequences become far more serious.
In nearly every DUI case, the judge will ask if an accident occurred as a result of the defendant’s driving under the influence. When the answer is “yes,” a judge is far more likely to give even a first-time DUI offender jail time. Regardless of whether you were arrested for driving under the influence involving an accident with or without injuries, or no accident occurred, it is critical to your freedom and reputation that you work with a skilled and capable Michigan DUI lawyer.