Perspective: WIS editorial on solicitor Barney Giese's arrest - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

by general manager Donita Todd

Perspective: WIS editorial on solicitor Barney Giese's arrest

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Since the DUI arrest last month of Barney Giese, the chief prosecutor in Richland and Kershaw counties hasn't said much about it.  He's apologized to his family, staff, and constituents. But after the DUI charge was dropped and Giese pleaded guilty to lesser charges, he's been largely silent. 

The solicitor may or may not have smelled of alcohol that night, but this whole affair leaves a bad taste in the mouth.  Of course, Giese was entitled to all the protection of South Carolina law.  And there's no requirement that a DUI suspect submit to a breathalyzer, which Giese did not.

But it's clear to me that a prosecutor who spends his days making sure that laws are enforced should not be spending any nights trying to hide behind them. South Carolina's DUI law has enough loopholes that some drunk drivers who have a good lawyer can slide back behind the wheel with barely a slap on the wrist. 

Solicitor Giese, whatever you were or weren't drinking that night, you owe your constituents an explanation. Why did you make that wrong turn down a one-way street? And more importantly, why aren't you speaking out for laws that give cops more clout when they ask drivers to blow into a tube? Mr. Giese, you're supposed to be a role model. Set an example, or tell us why you won't.

That's my perspective.  I'd like to hear from you.

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