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3-year sentence suspended to 90 days for man convicted of DUI on Ravenel Bridge

Chazz Jonathan Roberts (Charleston County Detention Center)

A jury found Chazz Jonathan Roberts, 25, of Isle of Palms, guilty of driving under the influence.

The Honorable Carmen Mullen sentenced Roberts on Wednesday to three years in prison, suspended to 90 days in the Charleston County Detention Center, followed by three years of probation.

Prosecutors say that shortly after 2 a.m. on Saturday, April 16, 2016, a Mount Pleasant Police Department Officer stopped Roberts after he observed Roberts’ vehicle swerving and traveling at more than 85 miles per hour over the Ravenel Bridge heading towards downtown Charleston.

The conviction was Roberts’ second in the last six years, with a prior DUI conviction from 2012, stemming from an incident in Mt. Pleasant, according to Solicitor Scarlett A. Wilson.

The jury deliberated and returned the verdict Wednesday afternoon after a day-and-a-half of trial.

Roberts had previously been convicted of making a false police report and assault.

Prosecutors say that a Mount Pleasant Police Department Officer stopped Roberts after he observed Roberts’ vehicle swerving and traveling at the high rate of speed over the Ravenel Bridge.

The arresting officer testified during trial that Roberts smelled of alcohol, that his speech was slurred, and that he became confused by simple requests and questions.

After performing poorly on the standard field sobriety tests administered on scene, he was placed under arrest, prosecutors said.

The jury reviewed in-car and body-worn camera footage from that night, which showed Roberts’ interactions with the officers and his performance on the standard field sobriety tests.

After being arrested, Roberts provided a breath sample. His blood alcohol content was .17, more than twice the legal limit.

Wilson stated, “DUI investigations and prosecutions continue to be driven by ‘technicalities’ in the maze of the DUI laws. Mt. Pleasant Police Department Officer Triana did especially good work at ensuring that the

details were covered and that the department’s professionalism was evident.”

Assistant Solicitor Daniel W. Cooper, who prosecuted the case, stated, “Thanks to the actions

of the Mount Pleasant Police Department, no one was harmed by this brazen and dangerous combination

of high speeds and high alcohol content. The jury quickly saw this case for what it was: a preventable

situation caused by the reckless decisions of Chazz Roberts that could have ended far worse.”

Assistant

Solicitor David DuTremble and Investigator Jeff Fort assisted in the prosecution of this case.

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