Charleston DUI Law Blog

Senate to consider bill after recent DUI case

Many South Carolina residents are aware that the state has a number of outdated and somewhat ridiculous laws that remain on the books. Among these is the absolute prohibition of minors playing pinball; another forbids fortune tellers from setting up shop without a permit from the state. One unusual law has been brought to the attention of the public after the recent arrest of a sheriff under suspicion of DUI.

The case has been covered both here and elsewhere, and centers on an incident in December in which the sheriff of Berkeley County was arrested and charged with DUI. He was arrested by law enforcement officers in the normal manner. However, when the matter was brought before the county's magistrate, there was a question of whether that individual had the authority to set bond.

MADD wants DUI legislative changes

The South Carolina division of the group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is pushing for legislative action after statistics suggest that the state has a serious problem with impaired drivers. Recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ranks South Carolina as number one in the nation in regard to drunk driving fatalities. This is a designation that no one in the state is proud of, and MADD is taking action to make changes in the manner in which law enforcement and the courts view DUI cases.

One of the chief concerns among members of MADD involves the strict guidelines under which suspected drunk drivers are approached at the scene of a traffic stop. Currently, the law requires the interaction between the suspected drunk driver and the officers on the scene to be videotaped. When this standard is not met, achieving a conviction can be difficult.

Drunk driving charges may be avoided by using a new service

A new service in South Carolina may be around for a long time. It's called CoPilot, and it is a driver service that caters to those who cannot drive due to insobriety. A person needing the service can use his or her smart phone to text in a request. Alternatively, it may fall on friends or others to see to it that one in need requests the service. All in all, the avoidance of injury, death and drunk driving charges is an outcome that seems well worth the effort.

One attraction of the service is that it not only gets the individual home, but it gets the person's car there too. Instead of leaving the vehicle behind after taking a cab, the service sends out two drivers so that the vehicle gets home with the customer. To prevent possible fears by customers that a stranger will be driving, the company says that it conducts extensive background checks on its drivers, making sure that they are responsible and well trained.

Felony DUI charges require action

There may be some drivers in South Carolina who are under the impression that there is only one type of charge for drunk driving, and that the potential consequences are the same across the board. While this type of misunderstanding might be common when dealing with felony DUI charges, it is important to understand the difference. Not only can a felony DUI have harsher consequences, it can also be a more difficult matter to overcome.

So what exactly is a felony DUI? A typical DUI charge is considered a misdemeanor, while extenuating circumstances such as an exceptionally high blood-alcohol content or excessive speed can contribute toward a felony. If a car wreck is caused by a suspected drunk driver, and one or more individuals suffered a serious injury or died, he or she may be dealing with a felony DUI rather than a misdemeanor. 

South Carolina pediatrician receives drunk driving charges

A recent incident has left a South Carolina pediatrician facing serious criminal charges. The physician practices in Beaufort County, but news of his recent arrest may threaten his continued success as a children's doctor. In addition to drunk driving charges, the man is also accused of violating open container laws and endangering two children who were with him at the time of the incident.

Police arrived to the scene on Ashley River Road in Charleston when a car was reported as being stopped in the roadway. There were two other vehicles behind the stopped car, so the responding officer parked his patrol car in front of the vehicles. When he approached the car he found the physician in the driver's seat unresponsive.

DUI charges dismissed against former NFL player

Many South Carolina readers are familiar with the name Tyler Thigpen. Thigpen played football at Coastal Carolina University and became a star player in that organization. He went on to play in the NFL for the Vikings, and is currently affiliated with the Browns. Thigpen made recent headlines not for his prowess on the field, however, but over DUI charges late last year. Those charges were recently dismissed, which likely comes as a relief to Thigpen and his family

The incident that led to the charges took place last November, when police responded to reports of a SUV stopped in the drive-thru of a Horry County fast food restaurant. When they approached the vehicle, police report finding Thigpen asleep in the driver's seat, with his foot on the brake pedal. It took officers several minutes to wake him, and upon awakening he told police that he was disoriented and confused about how he arrived at that location.

Felony DUI charges after young man dies in crash

Whenever a life is lost in a car accident, the result is a deeply felt personal tragedy for the friends and family of the deceased. This is true regardless of how a crash came to be, or who is at fault in the matter. However, when the suggestion of drunk driving is entered into the equation, the community often responds with a great deal of anger toward the individual charged with felony DUI. While this is understandable, it does not take into account the fact that many DUI cases do not result in convictions, and that not everyone accused of drunk driving is guilty as charged.

A recent case has made headlines across the state of South Carolina. A collision took place between a Ford Explorer and a Jeep Cherokee, on Red Bluff Road in Horry County. The driver of the Ford was heading southbound as the Cherokee approached in the eastbound lanes of travel. Police assert that the driver of the Ford allowed his vehicle to cross the center line, at which point a collision occurred.

DUI Charges follow New Year???s Day crash

A great deal of effort was put into public awareness of the risk of drunk driving during the recent holiday season. Those messages may have proven effective, as South Carolina police report that there were no drunk driving fatalities on New Year's Day. Accidents still take place, however, and one single-vehicle crash left the driver with felony DUI charges.

The accident took place in the early evening of New Year's Day. Police were called to the site of a single-vehicle accident, and found an International Scout upside down near an intersection. There were four occupants within the vehicle at the time of the crash, three of whom were injured. One sustained lacerations to the liver and a critical brain injury.

Sheriff to defend against DUI charges in South Carolina

Nobody is above the law. This even includes law enforcement agents. One sheriff in South Carolina is finding this out the hard way in a recent incident that resulted in him being arrested on DUI charges. He will now be looking to defend himself against these accusations in court.

The incident happened early one morning in late December when police were called to the scene of a vehicle accident. The crash involved a pickup truck and another vehicle. Despite not finding the sheriff physically at the scene of the crash, the police officers ended up arresting the man anyway. The highway patrol officers claim that they discovered physical evidence that links the sheriff's pickup truck to the crash.

Woman charged with felony DUI in crash with trooper

A South Carolina woman is facing serious criminal charges in an accident in which a police chase killed one of her closest friends. The series of events that led to the woman's arrest and felony DUI charges are unusual, in that her actions may not have been responsible for the loss of life. The incident has left several families in grief, and with a lack of clarity as to how and why this tragic loss took place.

The crash occurred the day after Christmas, as the woman was driving to deliver a gift to a friend. Nearby, police were manning a drunk-driving checkpoint. When a driver failed to stop at that checkpoint, a state trooper began pursuing that vehicle. The trooper and the woman were involved in a crash at an intersection, and the vehicle that fled the checkpoint was able to get away.

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