Cops: Car wreck led to Surfside Beach Councilman’s DUI arrest

 Cops: Car wreck led to Surfside Beach Councilman’s DUI arrest

Police records reveal new details about the incident leading to a DUI charge for a Surfside Beach Town Council member.

Bruce Dietrich was booked into jail March 7 and charged with driving under the influence.

Dietrich’s term as a council member started in May 2018 and goes until December 2021, according to the Surfside Beach Town Council website. Surfside Beach Town Clerk Sheri Medina confirmed that Dietrich was still a member of the town council as of Tuesday.

The incident report for the arrest, which The Sun News obtained by submitting a Freedom of Information Act open records request, shows that Surfside Beach police were called to the scene of a car wreck on March 7 about 8:30 p.m.

A Surfside Beach police officer arrived to find a car that had driven off the road and landed in a ditch off of Highway 17 Business, according to the incident report.

In the report, the police officer wrote that the driver, Dietrich, “seemed to be in a daze” and slurred his speech when speaking to the officer. The officer noted a “strong odor of alcohol” emanating from Dietrich, according to the police report.

Dietrich agreed to participate in a field sobriety test and got out of his car, the incident report states. When he got out of the car, he “had difficulty maintaining his balance and would fall into his vehicle door,” according to the police report.

“I was holding (Dietrich) up by his pullover to prevent him from falling,” the police officer wrote in the narrative portion of the incident report.

The officer wrote that when he let go of Dietrich to begin the field sobriety test, he began to lose his balance and “had to be grabbed before falling to the ground.”

The officer wrote that he deemed it unsafe to continue with the test and arrested Dietrich for DUI, according to the police report. He was taken to the Surfside Beach Police Department.

He was later taken to Conway Medical Center, where he told hospital staff that he was fine after the car crash and refused to be seen by a doctor.

He was then taken to J. Reuben Long Detention Center and booked around 11 p.m. He was released from jail by 11 a.m. the next day on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond. A personal recognizance bond is a no-cost bail and a promise that the suspect will appear at all court hearings.

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Profile Image of Jenna Farhat

Jenna Farhat is a reporter covering the South Strand. She has served as the managing editor and the news editor of The Sunflower, an independent, student-run newspaper covering Wichita State University. During her time there, she won several Kansas Collegiate Media awards for her investigative reporting and for feature writing. While she served as managing editor, The Sunflower won awards from the Associated College Press and the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government. She has been with The Sun News since 2020. She was born in Ohio and grew up in Wichita, Kansas. She is fluent in Arabic.

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