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Charleston DUI Law Blog

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.

Know what matters (besides a Breathalyzer) in a DUI case

People sometimes think that if they "pass" a Breathalyzer test, they won't have to face criminal charges for drinking and driving. This isn't the case at all. It is sometimes possible to face drunk driving charges even if your blood alcohol concentration is lower than the .08 percent legal limit when you take the breath test.

One factor that the officers can use is the standardized field sobriety test results. If you fail that battery of tests, you could be considered too impaired to drive. In that case, you could face criminal charges. These tests are sometimes considered subjective, so that should be a consideration if you are arrested based on the results.

Traffic stops can sometimes lead to drunk driving charges

Field sobriety tests are one thing that a person who is driving drunk might think they can handle; however, police officers are trained to detect signs of impairment during these tests. Knowing what police officers look for during the field sobriety test, as well as during other points in the traffic stop, might help you if you are facing the prospect of having to go through a drunk driving stop.

Police officers usually look for signs of impairment as they are patrolling. These signs include failing to obey traffic signals, driving in an erratic manner, or drifting between lanes. Officers can pull you over if you are breaking any traffic laws. When they approach you, they might discover that you are showing signs of impairment. This means that unless you are a perfect driver, you face being pulled over each time you get behind the wheel.

Know the penalties and your rights in a drunk driving case

In our previous blog, we discussed the designated driver program that is present over the holiday season. This program means that you don't have to risk driving home drunk after a night of partying. If something happens and you do drive home, you might see the flashing lights that let you know a police officer needs to speak with you. If you are pulled over for the suspicion of drunk driving, you are going to be taken through several different steps to determine if you are intoxicated.

We know that the last thing you want this holiday season is to have to worry about a legal battle. We are here to help you learn about the options you have for a defense so that you can make plans accordingly. As we work on your case, we look to you for answers about how you want to proceed.

South Carolina has a holiday designated driver program

Now that the holiday season is here, South Carolina wants all residents and visitors to be able to spend their time with loved ones. Law makers don't want anyone to have to spend the holiday in jail because of drunk driving, and they don't want families to have to mourn the loss of a loved one who was killed in a drunk driving accident.

In an effort to keep drunk drivers off the roads, law makers have come up with the SANTA designated driver program. This program, the Sober All Night Totally Awesome designated driver program, aims to ensure that anyone who is going to participate in the consumption of alcohol has a safe way to get home.

DUIs while boating can be devastating

When you are on the waterways enjoying time on your boat, the last thing that you want is for that fun day to end with you in handcuffs on your way to jail. However, if you opt to drink alcohol while you are operating a boat or other vessel on the water, that is exactly what can happen if you are charged with boating under the influence.

We know that you may have only wanted to relax a bit while you were on the water. While that is certainly your right, you should make sure that if the relaxation includes alcohol, you have someone else there who can operate the vessel. This is the same advice that we would give people who are going to a party that will involve alcohol.

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