Deputy Sheriff Driving Cruiser with 0.15 BAC not Charged with DUI

Posted by the Charleston, SC DUI Lawyers at Anderson & Schuster, Attorneys at Law, LLC.

A Deputy Sheriff with the Sumter County, SC Sheriff's Department, who resigned after he registered a blood alcohol content of 0.15 during a breathalyzer test the night officers found his vehicle parked in the middle of a South Carolina Highway, has not been charged with DUI.

Cpl. Willie McFadden’s police issued Dodge Charger was found parked on the roadway of Highway 521 at about 1:30 a.m., according to the sheriff’s office. McFadden, who was off-duty, attempted to move the vehicle when deputies first responded to the call, but pulled over once sheriff deputies sounded their police siren.

Deputies apparently recognized McFadden when they approached the vehicle. McFadden told the Deputies that he was coming back from training and he did not realize that he was in the roadway. According to the police report, the Deputies could not smell alcohol on his breath, but noted that he was not acting right and should not be driving. McFadden told the Deputies he had not been drinking.

The Sheriff Deputies then called the South Carolina Highway Patrol to the scene to administer DUI field sobriety tests. The troopers reported smelling alcohol on McFadden. "You were stopped in the middle of the road, you know how that happened?" asked one of the troopers. "As far as I know he just pulled me over in the middle of the road. I wasn't stopped in the middle of the road," McFadden responded.

The Troopers’ in-car video camera shows McFadden reciting his ABC's, walking heel-to-toe and then standing on one leg and counting up to 25.  From the video recording it appears McFadden passes each DUI field sobriety test.

Both troopers said McFadden "seemed to have had some alcohol earlier in the day but was not impaired enough not to drive a motor vehicle." the report stated. "Just by what I looked at, we got nothing to take him in on," said one of the state troopers. "It's apparent that he's been drinking, I mean I can smell it."

Supervisors on the scene decided to transport McFadden to the Sumter Police Department to have a blood-alcohol test completed. The breathalyzer test results show his blood-alcohol level was .15 %.

McFadden has since resigned. He has not been charged with DUI because of the incident. Is this an example of law enforcement getting the “blue pass,” or did the police act appropriately in not charging McFadden with DUI based on his performance on the field sobriety tests? This case certainly highlights the subjective nature of DUI field sobriety tests as well as questions their reliability.

Charleston, SC DUI Lawyers

Our Charleston DUI Attorneys help those charged with DUI in the Charleston area. If you have been arrested for DUI we can help fight the DUI charge, get your driver’s license back, and keep a DUI conviction off your permanent criminal record. If you have been charged with DUI in Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, North Charleston, Summerville, Goose Creek, Hanahan, Moncks Corner or the surrounding areas, give our DUI attorneys a call today.

Source: WBTV, Deputy Driving Cruiser with BAC of 0.15 not charged with DUI