Crime & Public Safety

28-year-old Hilton Head woman hit and scratched cops, charged with 3rd DUI, report says

What is Emma’s Law and how does it affect someone convicted of DUI in SC?

Named after Lexington 6-year-old Emma Longstreet, the 2014 law requires the installation of device on vehicles of first-offense drunk drivers.
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Named after Lexington 6-year-old Emma Longstreet, the 2014 law requires the installation of device on vehicles of first-offense drunk drivers.

A 28-year-old Hilton Head woman was charged with her third DUI and two other felony offenses for hitting and scratching deputies in the Spanish Wells area early Saturday, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office report.

Anne Kirstine Nelson was pulled over at 1:11 a.m. Saturday near Demsey Lane and Spanish Wells Road after a Beaufort County Sheriff’s deputy saw her driving a Hyundai Elantra off the side of the road twice, according to a police report.

When the deputy asked for Nelson’s license, Nelson “seemed confused and unable to focus on the simplest task” and “appeared to be very agitated,” the report said.

After requesting her license several times, Nelson said her boyfriend had her license and asked to call him. While on speaker phone, Nelson’s boyfriend asked for their location and the deputy told him “Spanish Wells Road,” the report said.

At this point, Nelson looked at the officer with “very glassy and bloodshot” eyes and said, “Did I ask for your opinion?” according to the report.

Nelson then called her mother, according to the report. After telling her mother she was stopped by the police, the officer asked her again for her license, and she said for the second time that she already gave it to the officer. The officer then asked for her full name and birthday.

She shouted ‘no,’ and when her mother told her to give the deputy her information, Nelson ended the call, the officer wrote in the report.

The deputy then requested backup.

As two other deputies pulled up, Nelson’s boyfriend arrived and told the officers Nelson had gotten in a fight with her mother when she returned home from Hurricane Dorian evacuations and “he believed she was driving around the island all day and drinking,” according to the report.

Another deputy then asked for Nelson’s license, and Nelson looked at him and stated “I am drunk as f***” and rolled up all the car windows, the report said. She refused to take a sobriety test, the report said.

After Nelson refused to get out of her car several times, an officer grabbed her wrist and placed her in handcuffs, the report said. While deputies searched Nelson and her vehicle, she slipped out of her handcuffs multiple times while yelling and “thrashing about.”

When a deputy tried to get Nelson out of the back of the patrol vehicle, she “lunged” at the officer, the report said. Then, she struck a different officer in the face and scratched another in the forearm. Photos of the officers’ minor injuries were submitted to police.

Nelson was then transported to the sheriff’s office, where she was given a Breathalyzer test.

Because Nelson had two previous DUI convictions in 2013 and 2018 in Iowa, she was charged with felony DUI, according to the report. She was also charged with two counts of resisting arrest with intent to commit injury or assault of an officer, along with three other misdemeanor charges for failure to provide her insurance and license, and for having an open container of alcohol in her vehicle.

Nelson was booked at 4:29 a.m. in the Beaufort County Detention Center. As of 4:30 p.m. Monday, she was being held on a $25,722.50 surety bond. She faces up to 23 years in prison if she is convicted of the three felony charges.