DUI: Corpus Delicti (Part II)

· “The act of operating a motor vehicle with impaired faculties is the gravamen of the offense. The corpus delicti of DUI is: (1) driving a vehicle; (2) within this State; (3) while under the influence of intoxicating liquors, drugs, or any other substance of like character.” State v. Townsend, 321 S.C. 55, 58 (Ct. App. 1996) (citation omitted)

· “Finally, we conclude the evidence presented by the State was sufficient to establish the corpus delicti of the crime, if believed. The corpus delicti of DUI based upon alcohol is: (1) driving a motor vehicle; (2) within this state; (3) while under the influence of alcohol to the extent that the person's faculties to drive are materially and appreciably impaired. Russell admits that he was highly intoxicated from the time of the party through his arrest, such that his faculties were materially and appreciably impaired. We have already determined there was substantial independent evidence corroborating the fact that he was driving the car. The position and condition of the vehicle provides substantial circumstantial evidence that it was being operated in South Carolina. Therefore, the corpus delicti of the crime has been established.” State v. Russell, 345 S.C. 128, 134 (Ct. App. 2001) (citations omitted)