DUI Field Sobriety Tests Must Be Videotaped

On April 23, 2014, the South Carolina Court of Appeals decided State v. Gordon.  The Court held:

Because the purpose of the videotaping is to create direct evidence of the arrest, if the actual tests cannot be seen on the recording, the requirement is pointless.  Accordingly, the circuit court correctly found that the head must be shown during the [Horizontal-Gaze Nystagmus (HGN)] test in order for that sobriety test to be recorded.

The Court of Appeals remanded the case to the Magistrate Court “to make factual findings in light of the circuit court and [Court of Appeals] determination that the test must be recorded on camera; specifically for the HGN test, the head has to be visible on the recording.”

Gordon enforces our General Assembly’s intent that jurors have the opportunity to view all the DUI testing to make an informed determination about guilt or innocence.

Please click here to read the Court of Appeals Opinion in State v. Gordon.