Bills aim to lessen importance of videotaping in DUI cases - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Bills aim to lessen importance of videotaping in DUI cases

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A bill to lessen the importance of video recording in drunken driving cases is up for debate before a Senate panel.

Since 1998, state law has required videotaping of drunken driving arrests. The entire stop must be recorded as well as the breath test, if the suspect agrees to take it.

Barry Barnette, chief prosecutor for Spartanburg and Cherokee counties, says far too many cases are thrown out because the video's not perfect. He says technicalities can range from malfunctioning audio to the suspect temporarily stumbling out of view.

The proposal before a Senate subcommittee Wednesday specifies that a case can't be tossed simply because video equipment fails to capture field sobriety tests.

Barnette prefers a House version, which ties automatic dismissal to a recording being intentionally damaged or missing.

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