Senator Randy Scott’s DUI arrest

If you haven’t heard, Senator Randy Scott was arrested and charged with driving under the influence last Saturday in Dorchester County. The irony of this DUI arrest coming the same week that the new get-tough-on-DUI bill was passed into law should not be lost on anyone. DUI lawyer Reese Joye of Charleston, S.C. has taken on Senator Scott’s case.
If you believe the deputy’s account in the incident report, the Senator was driving like a drunken fool, drifting across lanes and once almost running into a ditch. He failed field sobriety tests, had to lean on his vehicle for support, could not stand straight or walk a straight line, reeked of alcohol, had bloodshot eyes and “disheveled” clothing, bullied the deputies who were just trying to do their jobs, and admitted to drinking. It brings to mind images of Nick Nolte’s famous DUI mug shot.
But when we look a bit more closely, several more disturbing facts come to light. Jack Kuenzie from wistv reports that the Datamaster given to Senator Scott gave a reading of 0. (I believe what actually happened here is that there was no result, as opposed to a result of 0) We learn that the Senator has a long standing feud with Dorchester County Sheriff Nash. The Senator, it turns out, is an amputee with a prosthetic leg, and he informed the deputy of this before he was asked to perform the field sobriety tests.

Looking again at the incident report, the deputy reports that he ran the tag on Senator Scott’s vehicle and discovered that it was a State Senator’s vehicle before a second deputy was instructed to follow behind the Senator and then a stop was made. The officer instructed the Senator to recite his alphabet, and then to count from 59 to 33. The Deputy then asked the Senator to repeat the “test” by counting down from 57 to 33. These types of “field sobriety tests” were considered by the NHTSA for inclusion in the standard battery of “tests” to be given, and were excluded because of their unreliability in determining impairment under roadside conditions. The only three approved tests are HGN (horizontal gaze nystagmus), the walk and turn, and the one leg stand tests.
Attorney Reese Joye notes in his press release concerning Senator Scott that the videos do not support the deputy’s statements in the incident report, that Senator Scott did not appear impaired and that his walking and standing patterns were not out of the ordinary for an amputee. The Senator requested to consult with his attorney but, although the deputy had read Miranda warnings telling him that he had the right to consult an attorney, the deputy refused. The deputy says that Senator Scott admitted to having “two drinks,” but as it turns out there are witnesses who will attest that that the Senator had two small cups of wine at a church benefit before the arrest.
I don’t know if the Senator was impaired to the extent that it materially and substantially affected his ability to drive, but this case illustrates two points in my mind. 1) if he was driving under the influence, the hypocrisy, Elliot Spitzer style, of persons who push for harsher penalties for violations of laws that they later are caught breaking; and 2) if he was not driving under the influence, the fact that things are not always what they seem, and the necessity for a strong advocate when you are facing a criminal charge. If the arrest was politically motivated, if Senator Scott was not driving while impaired, or just if the government cannot prove impairment beyond any reasonable doubt, a good DUI lawyer will be able to bring out the flaws in the government’s case and win an acquittal.

3 Responses to “Senator Randy Scott’s DUI arrest

  • Call the feds and investigate the sheriff and his connection to Mr. Rose.
    Abuse of power
    Violation of Mr. Scott’s civil rights
    The list goes on and on.

  • you would have been a good person to hire if the one underage drunk driver that lived, and the 3 adults that sold alcohol to over 60 high school MINORS had ever been charged in my daughter’s death.
    ahh, but no one gave it shit in south carolina so no charges were filed against any of them.
    hell, they even let the underage DRUNK driver “call a friend” because he was too drunk to drive his own car home.
    i dont know how you stay in business with the Barney Fife-ism that goes on in this state when it comes to drunk drivers.
    ~still Kelli’s mom
    & yes, still bitter in SC

  • Kelli’s mom: The myspace page is truly beautiful. I don’t know the circumstances of the investigation, but the driver and the persons who provided the alcohol certainly could have been prosecuted.
    Thank you for your comments, and the link to Kelli’s page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *