I-Team: Lawyer says charges should have never been levied against fireman

A judge dismissed the case against Christopher Vanhoy, the Charleston Assistance Fire Chief,  who faced a failure to stop for blue lights charge following an incident in November when Hanahan police officers responded to a call about a possible drunk man driving erratically.

His attorney said Vanhoy should never have been charged in the incident.

“It’s frustrating for me because my client has suffered because of it,” Brady Vannoy explained to the News 2 I-Team.

In court,  defense attorney for Vanhoy, Brady Vannoy, told a the judge his client was looking for a place to pull over and he was concerned about pulling over where there had been recent flooding. The attorney also argued Vanhoy never broke the speed limit and was using his turn signals.

“The judge dismissed the case because of a lack of proof and lack of facts,” Vannoy said.”It was just a failure to adequately investigate,” he explained, saying police rushed to judgement.

Vanhoy  stopped after approximately a minute of blue lights flashing, a siren sounding, and an officer commanded him to stop over the patrol car PA.

On scene officers didn’t administer field sobriety tests, though they reported he smelled like alcohol and slurred his speech.  Hanahan Officers also noted in their report Vanhoy’s passenger admitted the pair were coming from a wedding where they had been drinking. The arresting officer is capture on tape telling Vanhoy’s passenger he had enough evidence to charge Vanhoy with DUI, but he didn’t.

Vannoy said from his review of the dash cam video, it doesn’t appear his client had any problem walking or speaking.

The arresting officer from the Hanahan Police Department told the judge Vanhoy had plenty of places to pull over, but eventually stopped in front of his own home.

Even though a judge dismissed the failure to stop charge, the solicitor’s officer told News 2 the state could overrule the decision and take the case to a Grand Jury. So far there has been no decision on how to move forward with the case or if prosecutors will at all.

 

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