Richland County Deputy Chief Arrested on DUI Charge Suspended From Force

COLUMBIA, SC – A deputy with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department has been arrested and charged with DUI after he was stopped at a safety checkpoint in Saluda County, according to the sheriff’s department.

Deputy Chief Samuel Berkheimer, 62, was arrested by the South Carolina Highway Patrol on Tuesday, Oct. 17 after he was stopped at the checkpoint on Highway 291 and Saint Marks Church Road.

According to an incident report of the stop, Berkheimer told the trooper who stopped him he had one white Russian with his dinner in Newberry, despite the trooper reporting that he smelled “the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage” coming from him.

Berkheimer agreed to perform field sobriety tests, of which he failed. He also refused to take a breathalyzer upon his arrest.

Berkheimer is the Deputy Chief of Professional Standards, Training, and Civil Process, according to Sheriff Leon Lott.

As a result of the arrest, Berkheimer has been suspended without pay pending an investigation. According to the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy, Berkheimer has been working in law enforcement for 34 years.