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Charleston DUI Law Blog

Important information about field sobriety tests

The Standard Field Sobriety Test (SFST) is given by police officers to drivers they suspect to be intoxicated. The test consists of three different parts: 1) the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test; 2) the one-leg stand test; and 3) the walk-and-turn test.

The SFST has existed since the 1970s, when police forces across the country began to crack down on drunk drivers more strictly. It has been scientifically validated as a way to determine a driver's state of inebriation. South Carolina courts and other courts around the country will accept the results as evidence in court for the purposes of convicting a driver of DUI. Furthermore, and contrary to popular belief, a DUI conviction can occur on the basis of SFST results, even in the absence of breathalyzer test evidence.

You Had A Few Drinks At A Holiday Gathering ...

Drinking At Holiday Party.jpg

With the holiday season fast approaching, imagine driving home after celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas or another holiday at a relative's house. As you look down the road, you notice flashing lights on the horizon. You get closer and you realize that those lights are not part of a seasonal display - they are part of a DUI checkpoint, where drivers are being pulled over without reasonable suspicion that they are under the influence.

Now, imagine that you've arrived at this scene after having a couple of drinks while celebrating the holidays. While you are pretty sure that you aren't in violation of the law, the flashing lights and police presence make you begin to question yourself and wonder if perhaps your blood alcohol content isn't within legal limits. Even if you aren't over the limit, being stopped at the checkpoint leaves you scared, nervous and with many questions about what to expect.

What should you do?

Can my car get impounded following a DUI?

Vehicle impoundment can happen after a DUI violation in certain states, and South Carolina happens to be one of them. However, your car will not be impounded until after your fourth DUI offense in our state. Fortunately for people accused of drunk driving, most DUI violations are first or second offense, so the vast majority of individuals will be immune from having their vehicles confiscated.

Losing access to a vehicle can be extremely debilitating for the average South Carolina resident who needs to use his or her vehicle on a daily basis. Fortunately, in the modern era of Ignition Interlock Devices (IIDs), most people in South Carolina accused of DUI will be able to continue driving their cars. Therefore, their lives will not be impacted significantly, and they can keep driving as long they test clean after blowing into a vehicle-installed breathalyzer machine.

Boating And Alcohol: What You Need To Know

There is nothing better than a Saturday on the lake, enjoying great outdoors with your favorite friends on a motorboat or sailboat.

While it is certainly a lot of fun to have a drink out on the water, you have to remember to be responsible and never pilot a watercraft while intoxicated. Not only is it extremely dangerous to operate a watercraft while you are drunk, but under Sections 50-12-1112 of South Carolina state law, boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is highly illegal.

22-year-old college student arrested for DUI after fatal crash

A young woman has been arrested and charged with drunk driving following a fatal car accident. According to authorities, the 22-year-old South Carolina woman was driving down Interstate 26 at approximately 7 p.m., on a recent Sunday evening when she collided with the rear end of a semi-truck.

Tragically, the young woman's passenger did not survive the collision. The deceased passenger was a 27-year-old woman from Florida, who was riding in the front seat of the 22-year-old driver's car.

Student Faces Felony DUI Charges in South Carolina Crash

A Sunday-evening collision with a semi truck has resulted in a South Carolina university student facing felony DUI charges. A passenger in the student's Jetta Golf was killed in the crash; the student reportedly rear-ended the semi as it slowed to exit the interstate.

Felony DUI in South Carolina can be charged if a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol and his or her actions result in serious injury to or death of another person.

Diabetes can be mistaken for drunk driving

Many people in South Carolina have diabetes. In fact, it's been estimated that as many as 20 percent of the drives on the road at any given time are suffering from this disease. This is important because someone who has not had one's medication in too long could be hit with many symptoms as his or her blood sugar levels drop, and these symptoms are often the same ones exhibited by drunk drivers.

Examples of common symptoms include the following:

-- General confusion -- A reduction in coordination -- Overall weakness and fatigue -- Slurred speech -- Dizziness -- Blurred vision

The 2 elements that contribute to drunk driving charges

South Carolina is one of the nation's most appealing tourist locations -- but one of the drawbacks of our beautiful state is its strict adherence to draconian DUI laws. Your vacation in Charleston, for example, could be going swimmingly until you are hit with drunk driving charges while cruising back to your hotel from a night out. Do not allow law enforcement to bully you into submission through the drunk driving prosecution process -- instead, trust a reliable team of attorneys to help you understand your rights and responsibilities, promoting a positive outcome no matter the nature of your alleged offense.

Many drivers are not aware that there are two distinct elements to the drunk driving offense: "driving" and "under the influence." The legal process can be stymied at several points as officers attempt to prove that the operator was both in control of the vehicle and intoxicated at the time of arrest. In general, you are considered to be "driving" if the vehicle is on the roadway, you are in the driver's seat, the keys are in the ignition and the vehicle is in a drivable condition. You may be able to avoid DWI charges, for instance, if you were sleeping in the back seat of your vehicle with the keys out of the ignition.

Resolution sought by family after death in crash

When there is a car accident, the most tragic result possible is the death of an innocent person. Sometimes, even a year or more later, relatives of the victim can still be seeking healing and resolution. That is the case with a South Carolina family, the mother of whom was killed in a car accident last year.

The daughter of the woman who died said that although she has forgiven the driver, she still needs resolution in the case. The accident happened on Feb. 16, 2014, and the victim suffered multiple injuries because of it that proved to be fatal.

What is the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program?

Did you know that one of the goals of the South Carolina government is to rehabilitate drunk driving offenders? This goal is accomplished by requiring those convicted of felony DUI to attend a statewide substance abuse program known as the South Carolina Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program. Defendants must attend this program if they are convicted of driving or boating under the influence or if they are arrested under the zero-tolerance policy for blood alcohol content in drivers under the age of 21.

Is the program mandatory if I'm convicted of DUI?

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