A 2013 DUI charge against State Representative Ted Vick, D-Chesterfield, was dismissed Wednesday on a technicality.
Vick’s attorney Todd Rutherford successfully argued that the officers failed to use proper procedure in reading Vick his Miranda rights. Rutherford outlined Wednesday’s court proceedings in an interview with South Carolina Radio Network.
“I made a motion to dismiss the case based on the fact that the officer never read Mr. Vick’s Miranda warnings on video,” Rutherford said. “Despite Mr. Vick sitting in the police car for over 30 minutes, his Miranda warnings were never read on video.”
A judge had rejected an earlier request for dismissal from Rutherford, a legislator who is also the leader of the House Democratic Caucus, because a prosecutor provided an affidavit saying Vick’s rights were read off camera.
In May 2013, a Bureau of Protective Services officer said he stopped Vick after seeing the legislator drive his vehicle over a traffic cone while exiting the Statehouse parking garage. The same officer said he had earlier seen Vick stumbling while walking to his pickup. Vick said he was walking funny because he had a pebble in his shoe. He was arrested after refusing to take a field sobriety test, but admitted to having a glass of wine at a nearby restaurant on Main Street in Columbia.
Rutherford said some would point out that his client got off on a technicality, however, Rutherford added, the law is clear in the way it is written.
“I would suggest that the law is not a technicality; no different than DUIs are technicalities,” he said. “The law mandated that Miranda be read on video. It was not done,
the state knew that it was not done, and they held this case out for over a year-and-a-half knowing that and tried to proceed yesterday as if that didn’t matter.”
“But it did matter,” Rutherford added. “The judge read the law and he made the state abide by the law.”
Vick is in the last few months of his term after announcing earlier this year that he would not seek reelection. He still faces other drunken driving and weapons possession charges stemming from a separate 2012 arrest in Columbia.