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2004-UP-357 - Hall v. SC Public Safety

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE.  IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 239(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals


John A. Hall,        Appellant,

v.

South Carolina Department of Public Safety,        Respondent.


Appeal From Lancaster County
Paul E. Short, Jr., Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2004-UP-357
Submitted May 12, 2004 – Filed June 4, 2004


AFFIRMED


Francis L. Bell, Jr., of Lancaster, for Appellant.

Patrick M. Teague, of Blythewood, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM:  John A. Hall appeals a circuit court ruling upholding the South Carolina Department of Public Safety’s order suspending his driver’s license for driving under the influence.  We affirm.

In November 2000, Hall was detained at a license checkpoint conducted by the South Carolina Highway Patrol after a patrolman detected the smell of alcohol in his car.  After Hall failed a field sobriety test, he was placed under arrest and taken to the Lancaster Detention Center.  Once there, Hall took a breathalyzer test which indicated an alcohol concentration of 0.18 percent.  Because Hall registered an alcohol concentration in excess of 0.15 percent, his driver’s license was immediately suspended.  Hall subsequently challenged the suspension in an administrative hearing but the hearing officer sustained the suspension.  On its appellate review, the circuit court likewise found no error and affirmed the suspension.  

Hall asserts the following errors: 1) the circuit court should have remanded the case for further determination by the Hearing Officer on the issue of the reliability and admissibility of the breathalyzer results; 2) the Hearing Officer erred by failing to dismiss the charges because the Department did not introduce into evidence the videotapes of Hall at the site where he was initially arrested or at the breathalyzer site; and 3) the Department erred by failing to enter individual findings for each of the factual considerations South Carolina Code section 56-5-2951 lists as being within the scope of an administrative hearing for a person whose license was suspended for DUI.

We affirm [1] pursuant to Rule 220(b), SCACR, and the following authorities:  S.C. Code Ann. § 1-23-380(A)(6) (Supp. 2003) (limiting appellate modification of agency decisions to those causing prejudice to substantial rights); S.C. Code Ann. § 56-5-2951(A) (Supp. 2003) (“The Department of Motor Vehicles must suspend the driver's license … [of] a person who drives a motor vehicle and … has an alcohol concentration of fifteen one-hundredths of one percent or more.”); S.C. Code Ann. § 56-5-2951(F) (Supp. 2003) (stating that the scope of the administrative hearings on license suspension “must be limited to” several specific topics); S.C. Code Ann. § 56-5-2953(A) (Supp. 2003) (allowing any party to the action to admit incident site or breath test site videotapes); Cooper v. Moore, 351 S.C. 207, 212, 569 S.E.2d 330, 332 (2002) (holding that when the terms of a statute are clear, the court must apply those terms according to their literal meaning); State v. Huntley, 349 S.C. 1, 6, 562 S.E.2d 472, 474 (2002) (holding breathalyzer results were admissible absent a showing by the defendant of prejudice resulting from the use of the wrong concentration, because “[e]vidence the simulator test was not run in conformity with Act 434 goes to the weight, not the admissibility, of Huntley’s breathalyzer results.”); Rowe v. Hyatt, 321 S.C. 366, 369, 468 S.E.2d 649, 650 (1996) (holding that words must be given their plain and ordinary meaning without resorting to forced construction which limits or expands the statute’s operation); Worsley Cos. v. South Carolina Dep’t of Health & Envtl. Control, 351 S.C. 97, 103, 567 S.E.2d 907, 910 (Ct. App. 2002) (holding issue presented on appeal was not preserved for review where appellant failed to raise the argument at the trial level).

AFFIRMED.

HEARN, C.J., STILWELL, J., and CURETON, A.J., concur.


[1]  We affirm this case without oral argument pursuant to Rule 215, SCACR.