SUMMERVILLE -- An ordinance would make it against Dorchester County law to resist arrest or not comply with an officer's command.
That's even though it's already against state law to resist arrest.
Councilman Larry Hargett introduced the proposed ordinance Monday. Hargett said the law would give sheriff's deputies and other officers more leverage in dealing with uncooperative suspects, cut down on paperwork that must be filed with the state charge and keep some revenue from fines in the county.
The ordinance would make the violation a misdemeanor. The fine would be up to $500 or 30 days in jail.
County Council approved first reading and sent it to the council's public safety committee for review. The ordinance would need three readings to pass.
Hargett, a candidate for the S.C. House District 98 seat, said he became aware of the problems during a courtesy ride with a deputy.
Charleston County Council discussed a similar law but didn't enact it, said Edward Knisley, deputy county attorney.
Berkeley County in 1993 made it a misdemeanor "for any person to willfully and knowingly fail or refuse to stop when signaled, hailed, or commanded to stop by a policeman or other law enforcement officer." That fine also is up to $500 or 30 days in jail, said Josh Gruber, assistant county attorney.
The proposed Dorchester ordinance is modeled after the Berkeley law. Dorchester County Attorney John Frampton, who drafted the ordinance, said he didn't find any legal concerns with it.