It is a storied tradition for many South Carolina teens to head to Myrtle Beach to celebrate the summer after their high school graduations. College students, too, like to hang out at the beach when they are back in their home state for the summer. And while many of these young people follow all the rules, some of course give in to youthful indiscretions and engage in underage drinking.
With summer well underway, many of South Carolina's law enforcement units have stepped up their drunk driving and underage drinking enforcement efforts. Many of South Carolina's teenagers may not be aware of the state's harsh penalties for drunk driving and underage drinking convictions.
A first offense can result in a license suspension, a jail sentence and mandatory participation in an alcohol and drug education program.
And, with college and bright futures right around the corner for many of these young people, it is also important to think about the long-term consequences of alcohol-related offenses. A second alcohol offense can result in the loss of any state-funded college tuition grants or scholarships, and a criminal record can have an effect on many educational and career opportunities and plans to come.
It is important not only that South Carolina's youth are aware of the consequences of drinking underage or drinking and driving, but also of the fact that an arrest does not automatically equate to a conviction. Teens, just like adults, have a right to fight the charges or work with a criminal defense attorney to arrive at the best possible outcome.
Source: The Sun News, "Graduates flock to Myrtle Beach," Bill Crosby, June 18, 2012