Attorney gives take on dash cam video of Whitney Brooks' field sobriety tests

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A local attorney specializing in DUI cases gave his take on dash cam video showing Whitney Brooks' field sobriety tests.

Authorities charged Brooks with felony DUI while records show she blew a 0.00 during a breathalyzer test last month.

Investigators say a motorcyclist identified as a North Charleston Police officer slammed his motorcycle into the side of  Brooks' car. The officer Ryan MacCluen died.

Attorney Tim Kulp of the Kulp Law Firm is a DUI and criminal defense attorney and a former FBI agent.

He says a law enforcement officer's decision to arrest someone should be based on on objective evidence that can be documented and not an assumption.

"It's often said a picture is worth a thousand words, well a video is worth a million," Kulp said.

He's viewed the dash cam video of Whitney Brooks field sobriety test.

It's a three part test performed during a traffic stop in order to determine if a driver is impaired.

There's a test of the eyes, the walk-and-turn, and the one-leg stand tests.

"When the police officer comes over and asks them to do these field sobriety tests you have to also remember this isn't something that people practice at home," Kulp said. "The ability to balance under 'blue light fever,' under stress, nervousness or panic can be very difficult."

According to Trooper Ross' report, Brooks had red, glossy eyes, slow speech and an odor of alcohol.

The report also states Brooks lost her balance, stepped off the line, used her arms to balance, swayed and stopped while walking.

Brooks breath test was later administered at the Dorchester County Detention Center where she was taken after her arrest.

"Based on my experience when she said she paused that's not a failure," Kulp said. "What I saw that she was careful and paused in doing the turnaround to walk back nine steps. So it's up to anyone who views the video to determine if what's described in the language that she used is apparent in the video."

Kulp says there's a takeaway than can apply to everyone.

"To avoid the risk of being arrested for DUI and put in a cage is to have absolutely nothing to drink if you're driving," Kulp said. "Although the law says that if you produce a reading of .05 or less you are conclusively presumed to not be under the influence of alcohol. But you still get arrested and you still have to bond out, and that conclusive presumption of innocence will apply after you get home, get a lawyer and go to court."

It's illegal to drive a vehicle if your blood alcohol concentration is .08 or higher.

By law, people have the right to decline a field sobriety test.

Whitney Brooks blood tests are still pending.

It could take several weeks before they are in.

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