Charleston DUI Law Blog

How does alcohol impact you as you continue drink?

The reason that the legal limit for drinking as been set at a blood alcohol concentration of .08 is that alcohol impacts you differently as your BAC climbs. This does not mean that you won't feel the impact at all if it's below .08, however. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, relaxation, loss of judgement and a slight impairment of your ability to follow moving objects can start at just .02.

As you get up to .05, you can start to feel the effects more drastically, and you may even lose just a little bit of muscle control. You also won't be as alert, your judgment may be altered, and you could begin to have trouble steering. You'll still feel pretty good at this point.

Can I challenge a blood test?

Whether through the use of blood or breath, the legitimacy of testing has often been called into question. The accuracy of the results, the efficiency of the apparatus itself and the training of the law enforcement officer have all been scrutinized.

On the surface, it would seem that chemical testing on an individual’s blood is iron-clad. Upon a positive result, law enforcement has now built a strong case proving that a driver was operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Fortunately, there are ways to challenge a blood test.

The moped loophole will be no more in South Carolina

For those accused of driving under the influence, there's been a long-standing loophole if they were caught driving a moped. The law made it so that people could be intoxicated and use a moped without penalty. Some people have been arrested for this, but a number of the cases have been thrown out.

However, a proposal was made and recently approved by the Senate in South Carolina to get rid of this loophole. The change is a minor one, simply stating that a moped counts as a motor vehicle, just like a car or a truck, and that drivers are therefore bound by the same DUI laws. This has not taken effect yet, but the change is on the horizon since the approval was given by vote.

Man from South Carolina was drunk during wrong-way accident

A man got onto the New York State Thruway going in the wrong direction, and he ended up causing a crash that left three people with injuries. The police are now reporting that the man, who is from South Carolina, was drunk when this accident took place, perhaps explaining why he was heading against traffic. They said that his BAC came in at .15, which is just under double the limit of 0.08.

The three people who were hurt are all expected to recover, as the injuries are not said to be life-threatening.

Teens still drink and drive in South Carolina

Some reports show that teen drinking and driving is actually going down, both in South Carolina and all across the United States. In fact, comparing the numbers from 1991 with those gathered in 2012 shows that drunk driving by teens fell by more than half -- 54 percent -- in roughly 20 years.

However, it's important to note that this movement does not mean it is no longer an issue. Ten percent of all teens still drink and drive. These drivers die in accidents far more often than those who do not drink and drive, with drivers who fall between the ages of 16 and 20 clocking in at a full 17 percent more likely to pass away if their blood alcohol concentration goes over the legal limit of .08 percent.

Defending against boating while intoxicated charges

For many South Carolina boaters, taking a group of friends out on the water for a day of fishing and fun could be their favorite way to spend a Saturday. However, every time you engage in this fun activity, it is vital to keep safety first -- not just for you and your friends' health and well-being but to avoid getting into trouble with the law.

Among the many boating safety laws that govern boaters in South Carolina are specific boating under the influence of alcohol laws. These laws go into effect when you are out on the water and if they are violated, you could be arrested and charged with a crime.

A BAC test under 0.08 could still be used against a driver

The results of a BAC test are a remarkably common type of evidence in South Carolina DUI cases. One assumption that some people may have regarding BAC tests is that, as long as their BAC tests below the legal limit of 0.08 percent, they don't have to worry about the BAC test results being brought against them as evidence of having driven while drunk. However, here in South Carolina, such an assumption is quite simply incorrect.

A little background on what exactly the legal limit means in South Carolina law can help shed some light on this topic. Under state law, when a person drives with a BAC that is at or over the legal limit, it is inferred that they are under the influence. However, this does not mean that a person has to have had a BAC at or over the legal limit to be found to have driven while under the influence. Factors other than BAC can be considered when determining whether a driver engaged in DUI, such as forms of evidence touching on whether a driver's alcohol consumption caused an appreciable and material impairment of their driving faculties.

South Carolina police officer accused of DUI

An officer with the Myrtle Beach Police Department has been arrested and charged with drunk driving. The arrest came after a car accident in which the police officer's truck crashed into a ditch. In addition to the DUI charge, he is also facing open container charges.

A member of the South Carolina Highway Patrol arrived at the scene of the accident. He allegedly witnessed the 29-year-old police officer climbing from a window of the truck that he had crashed into a ditch on Postal Way in Myrtle Beach. Reports indicate that the trooper noted the scent of alcohol on the officer's breath prior to making the arrest.

Interacting with police at a DUI checkpoint

When approaching a drunk driving checkpoint, virtually all South Carolina residents will feel an increase in their level of stress. This can be true even in cases where a driver has not been drinking at all, and has no reason to feel tense. For those who have consumed a reasonable amount of alcohol and waited a safe amount of time before getting behind the wheel, the anxiety experienced can be significant. One attorney in a southern state has made a public suggestion that drivers do not have to speak with police officers who are manning a DUI checkpoint, and discusses why this may be a wise course of action.

The article points out that individuals stopped at a DUI checkpoint are well within their constitutional rights to refuse to speak with officers manning the operation. It is asserted that the only course of action required is for the driver to make his or her license visible to the officer, and provide a statement that they have "no comment." This can be accomplished by means of a written statement, and some drivers are carrying printed versions within their vehicle in case the need arises.

Sheriff's Sergeant charged with DUI after accident

When an individual is arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, the need to mount an aggressive legal response is immediate. This is true regardless of one's socioeconomic status or career path. However, when an individual holds a position within the public service sector, the damage to reputation and community trust that follows a South Carolina DUI charge can be devastating.

This may be the case for a Beaufort County Sheriff's Sergeant who was recently arrested following a car accident. The 47-year-old man lost control of his Ford SUV and crashed into a wooded area near the intersection of Parker Drive and Bay Pines Road in Beaufort. When emergency responders arrived at the scene, suspicion arose that he may have been drinking prior to the crash.

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