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Charleston DUI Law Blog

What can affect breathalyzer tests?

Most people know that if they are pulled over while driving because they are suspected of being under the influence of alcohol, they will probably have a breathalyzer test administered to them. However, it is important to understand what can affect the results of breathalyzer tests. Why? Mainly because if you're not under the influence of alcohol, but the breathalyzer indicates that you are, you can still be arrested.

With that in mind, take stock of the common items that can affect a breathalyzer test. They include some kinds of cough syrup, mouthwash and breath mints. Taking some of any of those can make a breathalyzer indicate that your blood alcohol content exceeds legally allowable levels for individuals driving a motor vehicle. You might be arrested because of that, even if you haven't had a single beer and are capable of driving safely.

What can I expect during a field sobriety test?

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What should you expect when you get pulled over for drunk driving in South Carolina? Unless you have been through a traffic stop before, you probably are not aware of the procedures associated with field sobriety tests. It is imperative that drivers know the standard procedure for administering a standardized field sobriety test so that they can determine whether they have been treated unfairly by overzealous police officers looking for any evidence of intoxication.

What tests make up a field sobriety evaluation?

The standard field sobriety test involves three components. These include the horizontal gaze nystagmus, which measures the stability of your eye while tracking an object. Drivers who are intoxicated generally lack control of their eye muscles, causing jumping movements as they attempt to "follow" a moving object. Additionally, sobriety tests involve walk-and-turn and one-leg tests. These physical evaluations ostensibly demonstrate levels of intoxication by assessing motor skills. Drivers are expected to listen and follow specific instructions during these tests; those that are intoxicated are unlikely to succeed because they cannot process simple physical and mental activities concurrently.

Under the influence and boating

People tend to view driving under the influence as something that happens when a person is driving a car, motorcycle or truck. However, DUIs can happen when driving any vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. That includes boats and other watercraft. If you spend time on the water this upcoming Labor Day weekend, there are key things about boating under the influence that you should know.

A DUI while boating is called Boating under the Influence. There are federal laws against it that empower law enforcement officials to stop watercraft and confirm that their drivers are in control of their facilities. There are also state BUI laws that vary from one state to another. These laws were enacted in direct response to unfortunate statistics about boating incidents.

Teen killed in crash, DUI charges filed against motorcyclist

A recent motorcycle crash in Lexington County, South Carolina, has left a 19-year old woman dead and resulted in felony DUI charges against the motorcycle driver.

The driver, 20, was allegedly intoxicated at the time of the crash, according to a South Carolina Highway Patrol corporal. The driver was also allegedly speeding. He suffered minor injuries, was treated at a local hospital and then released.

Do you know why you're being arrested? A primer on DWI charges

Do you know your rights while being arrested at a traffic stop? South Carolina residents who are facing drunk driving charges may not fully understand the reasons that they are being arrested. The fact is that police officers can generally arrest suspected drunk drivers based on a variety of observations and legal requirements.

What is the definition of an "arrest?"

What to expect when driving under the influence becomes a felony

At what point does a DUI offense become a felony offense? If you have had at least three prior convictions of DUI, and the last conviction occurred within the past 10 years, a fourth or any subsequent offenses are a felony offense.

A felony DUI conviction comes with some harsh penalties. With prior convictions, you may have spent some time in jail, endured periods of license suspension and paid some hefty fines. With a felony conviction, you will have some longer-lasting, harsher consequences.

Defending drivers against drunk driving charges in South Carolina

One of the most difficult aspects of a South Carolina DUI arrest is the risk of losing one's driving privileges. Indeed, without the ability to drive, the average South Carolina resident will be severely debilitated. We depend on our cars to drive us to and from work every day, we use them to take our children to school, and we use them to go grocery shopping.

At the Drennan Law Firm, one of our first orders of business when we take on a new DUI case is to help our clients try to keep their driving privileges. In order to do this, it is necessary to take the matter before an administrative law judge at the Department of Public Safety. It is essential that the hearing be requested within 30 days of the arrest in order to try an avoid an automatic license suspension.

26-year-old woman arrested for DUI after driving into police car

A 26-year-old woman was arrested and accused of being too drunk to drive, in addition to driving into the back of a police sport utility vehicle after losing control of her car. The incident happened during early morning hours on a recent Saturday.

According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, the woman lost control of her car, ran off the road, went through a ditch and hit the back of the police vehicle with an officer inside it. The officer was rushed to a local emergency room by medical responders to receive treatment for minor injuries. He was released later that day.

Safe boating tips from the coast guard

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If you're going boating in South Carolina this summer, it's very important to know how to stay safe on the water. The Coast Guard has to rescue many people every year, so they've put out some tips that can help.

First and foremost, they say that it's crucial for people to have and use their life jackets. In 2013, 75 percent of the deaths that happened while people were boating were linked to drowning as the main cause. Life jackets could have prevented many of these deaths, the Coast Guard says, keeping hundreds of people alive.

In defense of drivers who failed their field sobriety tests

It has been over 10 years since a standardized field sobriety test was created and promoted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA field sobriety test consists of three different segments, which are intended to show police officers and courts whether or not an individual was inebriated.

The test includes the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, which involves the officer watching your eyes as you watch him or her perform different actions in front of you. The next segment is the walk-and-turn test and the final segment is the one-leg-stand test.

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