DUI: Observations of the Impaired Driver


“Mimms correctly asserts the pertinent statute ‘does not penalize the act of leaving a lane of travel on one occasion’ and that fact alone does not render her driving impaired. However, during oral argument before this court, Mimms conceded Trooper Burris had probable cause to initiate the stop. In fact, Mimms never argued to the magistrate court or circuit court Trooper Burris did not have probable cause to make the stop. The State produced a great deal of evidence of impaired driving uncovered after the initial stop. Specifically, the State submitted evidence: (1) Mimms' car matched the description of a car driving erratically; (2) while responding to the dispatch, Burris observed Mimms run off the roadway; (3) during the stop, Burris told Mimms ‘You [were] weaving all over the roadway’; (4) Burris ‘smelled an odor of alcohol’ as he walked toward Mimms' car and inside her vehicle; (5) Mimms did not successfully complete the HGN test; (6) during the HGN test, Mimms was unable to keep her balance; (7) based on Mimms' performance on the HGN test, Burris ‘did not feel comfortable’ requiring Mimms to complete additional field sobriety tests; and (8) Mimms' appearance and mannerisms indicated she was under the influence of alcohol. Therefore, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the State, the evidence supports the magistrate's submission of this case to the jury.”State v. Mimms, No. 2014-UP-489, 2014 WL 7898503, at *6 (S.C. Ct. App. July 30, 2014)