Charleston DUI Law Blog

Sentencing in South Carolina felony DUI case

When an individual makes the decision to drink and drive, he or she creates a high level of risk for each and every person encountered while on the road. When an accident takes place, a drunk driver will be held accountable for the choices made leading up to the incident. This is the case for one young man who was recently sentenced in a felony DUI case in Spartanburg County, South Carolina.

The 20-year-old man was charged with at least eight counts associated with a fatal wreck that took place in March. Police assert that the man allowed his vehicle to cross the center lane of travel and strike another vehicle head-on. In that car were a 43-year-old woman, her husband, mother and 11-year-old daughter. The woman and her mother were killed in the crash, and both the husband and daughter were seriously injured.

Traffic stop leads to serious DUI charges

When South Carolina residents choose to have a few drinks, the choices that follow can have life-altering consequences. One of the most dangerous acts that anyone can undertake is attempting to drive a vehicle after drinking. Alcohol often leads to poor judgment, and the inability to accurately measure levels of risk. This leads many otherwise rational and responsible individuals to make the decision to get behind the wheel of a car or truck. The result is often DUI charges.

This is the case for one South Carolina man who was recently pulled over. The officer claims that the 31-year-old man swerved briefly into oncoming traffic, and nearly struck two vehicles. When he was pulled over and speaking with the officer, the patrolman claims to have smelled alcohol on the driver's breath.

South Carolina police officer facing DUI charges

Being accused of drunk driving is a serious event for anyone. For those who hold a position in which their primary focus is serving the public, such a charge can be devastating. South Carolina residents place a great deal of trust in the officials tasked with looking after public safety. When one of those individuals faces DUI charges, that trust is threatened.

Such is the case in the recent story of a Goose Creek police officer who was recently charged with DUI. Following his arrest, his name, photograph and employment information has been spread across various forms of media. As a result, many in the community may be questioning the sincerity of the man's promise to serve and protect.

Felony DUI charges after woman hits moped, injures rider

South Carolina police have arrested a woman believed to have struck and injured a moped rider while driving under the influence. The incident took place on a recent Thursday night in West Ashley. Upon initial reports, it appears that the woman encountered a moped driver, and a collision resulted. As events progressed, the woman was ultimately faced with felony DUI charges.

The woman was driving an SUV on Highway 17 when police believe that she attempted to make a left hand turn. At that point, a woman driving a moped collided with the side of the SUV. A witness told police that the driver continued past the scene, pulling into a parking lot on Highway 17. At that point, the witness took down the license plate and called police. The woman exited the lot before officers arrived.

Will new law cause more people refuse to take a breath test?

Prior to Oct. 1, the cost of a DUI conviction took a toll on an individual's financial, personal and professional life. Now, those costs could go up.  A new DUI law went into effect in South Carolina requiring certain people convicted of drunk driving to use an ignition interlock device.  Some officials are concerned that this will mean that more people will refuse to take a breath test when they are suspected of driving under the influence. 

Anyone convicted of drunk driving who had a blood alcohol level of .15 percent or above is now required to use an ignition interlock device in their vehicle for six months.  Repeat offenders are now required to use the device for two years.  The device prevents a vehicle from starting if the machine registers that the person consumed alcohol, and a photograph is taken each time the machine is used to ensure that someone else is not blowing into the device for the driver.

South Carolina coach charged with DUI

Even before the invention and the popularity of the cell phone, there were many distractions in a vehicle. Some people are distracted simply by the conversations of other people going on around them. Such distractions could potentially lead to erratic behavior that could even cause some people to assume the driver is under the influence of alcohol. It is unclear if this could be the case after a woman in South Carolina was arrested and charged with DUI.

The woman is a high school cross country coach. According to reports, she was transporting seven student-athletes to a meet when she was pulled over. Police officers claim they received several phone calls reporting erratic behavior, but it is unclear what that behavior might have been.

Felony DUI charges filed in June fatal accident

South Carolina readers may recall media coverage of a terrible accident that took place this June in Orangeburg. The crash ended the life of a 25-year-old man who was riding in the car of a friend. Now, more than three months later, the driver of that vehicle is facing felony DUI charges. This likely comes as a relief to the family of the young man who was killed in the crash.

The crash took place in the early morning hours, when police say that the 28-year-old driver lost control of the vehicle. The car left the roadway and overturned, throwing both men out of the vehicle. While the driver was injured in the crash, his passenger and friend was unable to survive his injuries, and died as a result. Testing revealed that the driver had a blood alcohol level of .11 at the time of the crash.

Judge rules breath test inadmissible for drunk driving trial

When a person has been pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, it is imperative to that driver's rights that law enforcement ensure all evidence represents a fair and impartial investigation. There are many tools that South Carolina police may use to determine whether a driver may be impaired, including the various types of breath test machines. In a recent case, the results of one of these devices was questionable enough to be ruled inadmissible.

The judge's decision to prevent the Breathalyzer's results from being introduced by the prosecutor is a victory for the defense team that has questioned the veracity of the test from the beginning. The case concerns the arrest and subsequent charges filed against a prominent member of the local community. In 2011, the man is alleged to have driven his vehicle partially off the road and partially into a construction trench. Police did not successfully administer any test at the time of the man's arrest.

Boating under the influence a serious safety concern

South Carolina has some of the nation's most beautiful waterways, including access to rivers, lakes and the Atlantic ocean. Many residents take advantage of the opportunity to spend time on the water by boating, and invite friends and families along to enjoy the experience. As is often the case, social gatherings can include the use of alcohol, which can pose risks to those on the water. It is important for people to become educated on the dangers of boating under the influence.

A recent report looks at statistics surrounding the issue of boating safety, and found that South Carolina is among the states with the highest levels of boating deaths across the nation, ranking fourth. In some cases, these fatal accidents were linked to the use of alcohol by the individual operating the vessel. Statistics suggest that boating under the influence played a role in as many as 16 percent of fatal boating accidents.

Drunk driving charges follow deadly accident

A South Carolina woman is in the beginning stages of grief after a terrible car accident ended the life of a passenger in her vehicle. In addition, she is also confronted with criminal charges related to the fatal accident. Just days after the crash she was charged with felony drunk driving charges, as well as for driving with a suspended driver's license. As she mourns the loss of her friend, she also must address the need to make a legal response to the charges against her.

The accident took place in Berkeley County on Cooper Store Road. Police assert that the 38-year-old woman was driving a 2002 Ford pickup truck when she lost control. The vehicle crossed the center line, ran off the road and hit a ditch. At that point, the truck overturned. A 36-year-old man riding as a passenger in the vehicle was ejected, and was pinned underneath the overturned vehicle.


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