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Charleston DUI Law Blog

Boating under the influence can ruin a day on the waterways

As the spring weather approaches, boaters are going to start turning out on the waterways in droves. It is imperative that you understand that your day on the water can turn bad quickly if you opt to operate your boat after consuming alcohol. Boat operators are covered under laws aimed to prevent drunk boating, so be sure to stay sober so your day of fun doesn't include a trip to jail.

One reason for the boating under the influence laws is that the United States Coast Guard notes that drunk boating is more dangerous than drunk driving. This is partially because of the way being on the water affects boaters. These effects are enhanced by alcohol and the sun. It means that boaters could suffer from considerable difficulties making decisions and maneuvering the boat.

What is the role of a designated driver?

On the surface, the answer seems pretty simple: The designated driver is the person who remains sober so he or she can legally drive everyone else in the party around or home. If you've ever been a designated driver, though, you know there's a lot more to this story.

First, the designated driver's role isn't just to remain sober. You can have a drink or two, feel sober and still blow above the legal limit in a field test for blood alcohol level. If you're the designated driver, then your promising not to drink during the outing at all, which means you might have to order a virgin daiquiri or a diet cola when the rounds are bought. One good perk is that many places that cater to sporting events or nightlife offer free beverages to designated drivers.

Hitting a bicyclist results in DUI charge for McColl councilman

A McColl, South Carolina, Town Councilman was arrested on suspicion of driving drunk Saturday, Feb. 4, after striking a 38-year-old bicyclist later that evening with his car. The victim was transported to a Scotland county hospital and treated for minor injuries before being released.

The accident resulting in DUI charges against the man occurred on High Street in McColl around 11:10 p.m. In responding to the councilman's crash with the biker, the city's police officer noted both a large crack to the man's windshield as well as damage to his bumper.

More reliable tests are needed to determine drug impairment

The need for tests to determine if a person is driving while high on drugs is something that has come up quite often recently. Unlike blood alcohol concentration tests, there aren't any reliable tests that can determine a person's current intoxication level for drugs like marijuana. The blood test for marijuana can only determine if a person has used the drug in the past, but it doesn't differentiate between a person who used the drug an hour prior to the test or a month before the test.

The drug in marijuana, THC, is what causes impairment. This is a fat-soluble substance, so it can remain in the body after the impairment has abated. This poses a unique issue for law enforcement officers who are seeking to have a person who seems high taken off the roads. In areas where marijuana usage is legal, law enforcement officers can't just arrest the person for having possession of marijuana, which is one way that they have gotten these drivers off the roads in the past.

Felony DUIs are tough to fight against

If you are drunk and get into a car accident, your first thought might be to flee the scene. Of course, now that you are sober, you know this isn't the right thing to do. This realization might not hit you when you are drunk.

We know that thinking clearly isn't something that people who are intoxicated can do very well. You might make choices that you wouldn't usually make if you were sober. This is something that might play a part in a defense, but only in certain circumstances.

Fleeing the scene: How to make a bad accident worse

If you're involved in a deadly accident, whether or not drugs and alcohol played a part, one of the only ways you can make the situation worse for yourself is to flee the scene.

Leaving the scene of an accident just gives the prosecutor more ammunition to bring into court against you. In addition, a short-sighted action like that is going to be hard for your attorney to overcome because it points toward both a consciousness that you'd done something wrong and a purposeful disregard for the lives of the other people involved in the accident.

Not all breath test results are what they seem

In our previous blog post, we discussed how certain everyday items can lead a person to have a high blood alcohol concentration percentage during a breath test. If you recall, cough drops and mouthwash were two of these items.

If you are facing a drunk driving charge because of an incorrect breath test result, we can help you battle the charge. It is important for you to clearly state what you had placed in your mouth before the test. If you brushed your teeth and then used a mouthwash, be sure you know the name of the mouthwash so that this information can be included in your case. The same is true if you used cough drops or any other item that could have impacted your breath test.

Are DUI tests always accurate?

If you are pulled over and it is suspected that you are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you may be given a field sobriety test or subjected to several different types of testing to determine if you should be driving or not. It may start with a field sobriety test, and, if that is inconclusive, move on to a breath, urine or blood test. While law enforcement officers often use these tests to decide if you should be charged with DUI, there are times where the test may not provide the accurate results needed to prove a case against an individual.

How can cough drops and mouthwash affect truckers?

Think about your morning routine. You probably brush your teeth and eat breakfast. You might even gargle some mouthwash to be sure that your breath smells as fresh as possible. For truckers, including mouthwash in their morning routine could spell trouble because most mouthwashes include alcohol as an ingredient.

Does the law differentiate between alcohol types? When it comes to blood alcohol concentration, the type of alcohol isn't considered by breathalyzer-type machines. Instead, the breath, blood, or other tests only provide a percentage for BAC. Commercial truckers have to abide by the legal limit of .04 percent BAC. This means that any trucker who is at or above that level can be taken out of service.

Don't let party plans this weekend derail your life

This year, New Year's Eve falls on a Saturday, which means that this is going to be a huge party weekend. If you are going to drink alcohol over the weekend, make sure that you take the time to make proper plans. These plans should include finding a safe way to get home after the party.

You do have alternatives available to driving home on your own. You can find a designated driver for the weekend so that you can enjoy the party and still get home safe. You can also opt to take public transportation or take a cab.

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