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Charleston DUI Law Blog

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.

Know how alcohol affects your boating abilities

When you are out on the water, you might want to have a few drinks with your friends. Before you do that, you should know that you can face criminal charges for boating under the influence. You should also know that just because you can usually have a specific number of drinks and are fine, that might not be the case on the water because alcohol can affect you differently when you are out on the lake in a boat.

The natural effects of being on a boat can induce fatigue, which is also known as boater's hypnosis. The vibration of the boat, motion of the waves and exposure to the sun can all have these effects. Alcohol will intensify these effects, so you likely won't be able to consume as much alcohol as you would on land before you start to become impaired.

Student killed in pedestrian vs vehicle accident, driver arrested

A Coastal Carolina University student was killed recently as he attempted to cross S.C. 544 on an early Saturday morning. A 31-year-old man from Conway has been arrested and charged in the student's death.

The student was from Averill Park, New York, and was hit by a vehicle at about 12:45 a.m., according to the chief deputy coroner. The police in Conway responded to the accident and located the victim, but the driver and vehicle that struck him was not on the scene. A sergeant with the Conway police said that the man returned in the vehicle shortly after police arrived.

We can help you find out defense options for a DUI

Field sobriety tests are one of the tools that law enforcement officers have to try to determine if a driver is intoxicated. As we discussed last week, these tests are fairly subjective and can sometimes be the subject of debate. We know that if you are facing drunk driving charges, you might want to find every possible way that you can to fight against the charges. We are here to help you evaluate your case and find out what options you have.

There are several things that can come up in a drunk driving case that we might be able to try to refute. Each case is different, so we have to take the time to evaluate your case to determine what options are present for you.

Know the components of a field sobriety test

A police officer who stops you for the suspicion of drunk driving will have to try to ascertain if you are actually impaired. This can be rather complicated because some of the testing that must be done is subjective. Field sobriety tests can fall under this subjective label because the results are based solely on the interpretation of the results as noted by the officer.

Field sobriety tests are usually done before other tests, like Breathalyzers, are done. The standardized field sobriety test is a three-part test that includes a walk-and-turn, a horizontal gaze nystagmus and one-leg stand test. These tests are sometimes used in conjunction with non-standardized tests that could include having to recite the alphabet or touching your nose with a finger while your eyes are closed.

3 Scary Facts About Halloween DUIs

Halloween DUI - Pumpkins.jpg

This upcoming Halloween weekend, many of the police costumes that you see out and about won't be costumes at all. They will be uniforms worn by actual police officers and highway patrol officers who are out in force in an effort to combat drunk driving in South Carolina.

Why the increased focus on DUIs? The number of fatal accidents in South Carolina is currently on pace to be just as deadly as last year and the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) wants to improve on that number. They view Halloween weekend as a prime opportunity to help accomplish that goal. Combine this with the fact that police are traditionally extra vigilant and DUI checkpoints are more prevalent around Halloween, and the possibility of being arrested for DUI skyrockets.

With that in mind, here are three facts that you should know about DUIs in South Carolina on Halloween and Halloween weekend.

Defense options in drunk driving cases are numerous

In our previous blog post, we discussed the fact that Breathalyzers must be calibrated in order to produce accurate results. If the person who is using the device doesn't calibrate it properly, the results could read much higher or lower than the sample given. We know that you might have some questions about how to determine if the device is calibrated. We can help you explore whether this is a possible defense strategy you might opt to use in your case.

This is only of the possible strategies that you can potentially use for your defense. We can discuss other possible tactics with you so that you are prepared for what we might need to cover while defending your case. We usually work on this determination by looking into the circumstances surrounding your case, which start at the time of your arrest.

What you should know about Breathalyzers

When a police officer asks someone to submit to a breath test to determine his or her blood alcohol concentration, the test is carried out on a breath testing device commonly called a Breathalyzer. Courts accept the results of this test as evidence of a person's BAC, but the police department has to show that the machine can produce results that are reliable.

The most common challenge to the Breathalyzer is whether the machine was working properly when the test was given. Breathalyzers must be calibrated regularly, and there is regular maintenance required, too. The basic guidelines for calibration and maintenance are:

What is a route restricted license?

A route restricted license allows someone whose license has been suspended to drive to and from his or her place of education, education, Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program classes or a court ordered drug program. It is only for those who have a non-commercial license and it is for the length of the driver's license suspension.

A person can get a route restricted license only once and only for the following types of suspensions:

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