CAMDEN, SC – Kershaw County already leads the state in DUI deaths, but now hundreds of pending DUI cases in the county could soon be dismissed.
“We’re looking at the case file of all the DUI cases pending in Kershaw County,” said Chief Magistrate Eugene Hartis. “It’s approximately 705 cases pending.”
Hartis said most of those may be dropped. “If the officer has left the force and is not coming back, those cases will be called and they will be dismissed,” he said.
The judge would not release this list of pending cases, but allowed us to look over the list. We found DUI cases as much as 11 years old still waiting to be heard by a jury.
Hartis said the delay is simply due to manpower. The judge says troopers are making 30 to 40 DUI cases each month for a team of two judges to hear. Hartis says each DUI case, on average, takes about three hours to try. “If I try 10 to 12 DUI cases each week, I still fall behind in those two weeks,” said Hartis. “I can’t get them all in.” ….MORE