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Charleston councilman’s DUI charges dropped, arresting officer resigns

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 10:27 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston City Councilman Harry Griffin was arrested for driving under the influence in May, however deputies now say Griffin’s charges have been dropped and the arresting deputy no longer works for the force.

Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Jeremy Baker says that the deputy who arrested Griffin has resigned from the Sheriff’s Office and stopped working in law enforcement entirely.

Baker said the arresting former deputy failed to show up for court and the charges against Griffin were dismissed.

Berkeley County court records stated Griffin was charged with driving under the influence with a blood-alcohol level of less than 0.10 percent the evening of May 29. The report states the former deputy smelled “a strong odor of alcohol” emanating from the driver’s side window of a pickup truck they say Griffin was driving.

Reports state Griffin was pulled over on County Line Road in the Cross area of Berkeley County.

When initially asked how much alcohol he had had to drink, the sheriff’s office reported that Griffin said “none.” However, when the former deputy said he smelled alcohol, the sheriff’s office reported that Griffin said, “only one.”

The sheriff’s office says Griffin refused a standard field sobriety test and was placed under arrest for DUI. The report states Griffin also refused to provide a breath sample at the Hill-Finklea Detention Center.

Authorities released dashcam footage on June 1 showing Griffin’s arrest, and subsequent footage of Griffin in the Hill-Finklea Detention Center.

When the footage was released, Griffin’s lawyer said the video shows “his lack of impairment” and provides a “fair and accurate assessment” of the councilman’s condition.

The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office has not released the name of the former arresting deputy.

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