Charleston DUI Law Blog

Felony DUI charges filed in June fatal accident

South Carolina readers may recall media coverage of a terrible accident that took place this June in Orangeburg. The crash ended the life of a 25-year-old man who was riding in the car of a friend. Now, more than three months later, the driver of that vehicle is facing felony DUI charges. This likely comes as a relief to the family of the young man who was killed in the crash.

The crash took place in the early morning hours, when police say that the 28-year-old driver lost control of the vehicle. The car left the roadway and overturned, throwing both men out of the vehicle. While the driver was injured in the crash, his passenger and friend was unable to survive his injuries, and died as a result. Testing revealed that the driver had a blood alcohol level of .11 at the time of the crash.

Judge rules breath test inadmissible for drunk driving trial

When a person has been pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, it is imperative to that driver's rights that law enforcement ensure all evidence represents a fair and impartial investigation. There are many tools that South Carolina police may use to determine whether a driver may be impaired, including the various types of breath test machines. In a recent case, the results of one of these devices was questionable enough to be ruled inadmissible.

The judge's decision to prevent the Breathalyzer's results from being introduced by the prosecutor is a victory for the defense team that has questioned the veracity of the test from the beginning. The case concerns the arrest and subsequent charges filed against a prominent member of the local community. In 2011, the man is alleged to have driven his vehicle partially off the road and partially into a construction trench. Police did not successfully administer any test at the time of the man's arrest.

Boating under the influence a serious safety concern

South Carolina has some of the nation's most beautiful waterways, including access to rivers, lakes and the Atlantic ocean. Many residents take advantage of the opportunity to spend time on the water by boating, and invite friends and families along to enjoy the experience. As is often the case, social gatherings can include the use of alcohol, which can pose risks to those on the water. It is important for people to become educated on the dangers of boating under the influence.

A recent report looks at statistics surrounding the issue of boating safety, and found that South Carolina is among the states with the highest levels of boating deaths across the nation, ranking fourth. In some cases, these fatal accidents were linked to the use of alcohol by the individual operating the vessel. Statistics suggest that boating under the influence played a role in as many as 16 percent of fatal boating accidents.

Drunk driving charges follow deadly accident

A South Carolina woman is in the beginning stages of grief after a terrible car accident ended the life of a passenger in her vehicle. In addition, she is also confronted with criminal charges related to the fatal accident. Just days after the crash she was charged with felony drunk driving charges, as well as for driving with a suspended driver's license. As she mourns the loss of her friend, she also must address the need to make a legal response to the charges against her.

The accident took place in Berkeley County on Cooper Store Road. Police assert that the 38-year-old woman was driving a 2002 Ford pickup truck when she lost control. The vehicle crossed the center line, ran off the road and hit a ditch. At that point, the truck overturned. A 36-year-old man riding as a passenger in the vehicle was ejected, and was pinned underneath the overturned vehicle.

Fatal crash leads to felony DUI charges

For individuals charged with drunk driving in South Carolina, the repercussions can be severe. Punitive measures for a conviction range from fines and probation to a loss of one's driving privilege. In the most serious of cases, significant jail time is a possibility. Such is the case for a man who recently received felony DUI charges following a fatal crash that took the lives of two people.

The crash took place on Sandifer Boulevard in Seneca, around 7:45 p.m. on a recent Saturday evening. Police say that a 52-year-old man driving a pickup truck broadsided a sedan carrying a married couple. A husband and wife, both in their late 20s, died as a result of injuries sustained in the accident. Three additional vehicles were involved in the crash, and three occupants of those vehicles suffered less severe injuries.

Woman charged with boating while impaired after fatal accident

South Carolina readers are likely aware of a recent boating accident that claimed the lives of two children. The story has received widespread media coverage, and has resulted in the arrest of the woman piloting the boat. She has been charged with driving under the influence with a water device causing death. The boating while impaired case has left the community in shock, and will likely raise awareness of the risks of being on the water.

The accident took place after a day of boating on Lake Hartwell. It was near 8:30 p.m. on a recent Sunday when the boat neared a dock. The 19-foot Hurricane was a deck boat; it was unclear how many people were onboard, although police have reported that five of the boat's occupants were children. Two of those children, a nine-year-old boy and a five-month-old infant, died in the incident.

Driver faces DUI after alleged crash with South Carolina deputy

Everybody makes mistakes from time to time. However, sometimes these mistakes can result in serious legal problems. One common mistake by motorists is driving a vehicle while being under the influence of alcohol. For one motorist, this is exactly what happened in a recent accident that resulted in a DUI charge in South Carolina.

The incident happened when a 33-year-old motorist crashed his vehicle into one operated by a Sheriff's deputy on U.S. Hwy 221. The crash occurred at approximately 1:30 a.m. in late August. Apparently, the motorist's vehicle crossed over the center line on the highway into traffic heading in the opposite direction. The man's vehicle collided head-on with a marked SUV driven by the deputy.

What constitutes a felony DUI and what are the consequences?

DUI charges can, without a doubt, be difficult to manage. Impaired driving simply is taken very seriously, whether you live in South Carolina or elsewhere. Of all the DUI related offenses, those that garner felony DUI charges are the most complex to successfully fight in court, but that doesn't mean it is impossible to do.

Felony DUI charges are filed if a person is found to have been operating a vehicle while under the influence of an impairing substance, if they do something against the law while driving impaired and if they cause harm to another individual in the process. Other complications surrounding a DUI incident may be taken into consideration. Some of these complications can be viewed on our Felony DUI page.

Can you really be charged with boating under the influence?

The simple answer to this question is yes. Boating under the influence (BUI) of alcohol or drugs is a crime in South Carolina. A rise in fatal boating accidents in recent years led to changes in both federal and state laws to make it illegal to be impaired while driving a boat.

This means that state and federal marine patrols may pull over a boat if they suspect that its driver is impaired. In some places, BUI checkpoints are conducted to let boaters know not to drive their boats drunk. Officials may also take the opportunity to inform boaters of the dangers of being impaired while driving a boat and that they may actually be arrested for it.

What should I know about blood alcohol tests in South Carolina?

Here in South Carolina, many people have had to face DUI charges, and many more will in the future. Those who do may know how seriously the crime is considered, though they may not know about related aspects, such as how sobriety is determined. While field sobriety tests are often utilized, tests that measure blood alcohol content are frequently used to determine if a person is inebriated. The results of these blood alcohol tests may be used in criminal proceedings, so it can be beneficial to know what they are, how they work and what it might mean for a person’s case.

Though several different bodily samples can be used to determine intoxication, police normally use breath analysis or blood screening -- sometimes both. Older breathalyzers typically compare a sample from a suspect to a control sample, though newer models measure the alcohol content of a person’s breath. They are not as accurate as a blood sample, though some who are accused of DUI will not subject to a blood draw.

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