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2011-UP-113 - State v. Woodard

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE.  IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 268(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals

The State, Appellant,

v.

Albert Barton Woodard, Respondent.


Appeal From Union County
 John C. Hayes, III, Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2011-UP-113  
Submitted December 1, 2010 – Filed March 22, 2011


REVERSED


Attorney General Allen Wilson, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, and Assistant Deputy Attorney General William M. Blitch, Jr., all of Columbia; and Solicitor Kevin S. Brackett, of York, for Appellant.

Thomas Henry White, IV, of Union, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM: The State appeals the circuit court's reversal of Albert Barton Woodard's driving under the influence (DUI) conviction, arguing the State produced a videotape that complied with section 56-5-2953(A)  of the South Carolina Code (2006).  The State contends the videotape made at the incident site sufficiently documented all statutorily-required events even though the first eight minutes of the videotape contain only an audio recording of the events.  We reverse.[1]

In criminal appeals from municipal court, the circuit court does not conduct a de novo review.  S.C. Code Ann. § 14-25-105 (Supp. 2009); City of Rock Hill v. Suchenski, 374 S.C. 12, 15, 646 S.E.2d 879, 880 (2007).  In criminal cases, the appellate court reviews errors of law only.  Suchenski, 374 S.C. at 15, 646 S.E.2d at 880.  Therefore, our scope of review is limited to correcting the circuit court's order for errors of law.  Id.  Section 56-5-2953(A) requires a person who commits a DUI to have his conduct at the incident site videotaped.  The videotape must "include the person being advised of his Miranda[2] rights before any field sobriety tests are administered."  § 56-5-2953(A)(1)(b). 

Here, the videotape recorded only the audio of the first eight minutes of the video because the camera was focused on the inside of the car.  Included in the first eight minutes of the video are Woodard's voice and the arresting officer's voice administering the Miranda warnings.  Thereafter, the arresting officer realized the error in the focus of the camera, corrected the camera to focus outside the car, and captured Woodard's conduct, including three field sobriety tests, on video.  Accordingly, we hold the videotape met the statutory requirements of section 56-5-2953(A).  

REVERSED.

FEW, C.J., and SHORT and WILLIAMS, JJ., concur. 


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

[2]  Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966).