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SC man reportedly tests at .16 on breath test

The penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol, even when no one besides the drunken driver is in immediate danger, can be very severe. These penalties become much more severe when the driver is not only putting others in danger, but also submits to field sobriety testing that results in a high breath test. A South Carolina man is in this very position.

What began as a routine traffic stop for speeding has ended in much more severe charges for this South Carolina man, who was traveling with three children in his car. The 51-year-old man was driving his 13-year-old daughter and two of her friends home after a gymnastics and cheerleading lesson when police pulled him over for speeding. According to police reports, the man was allegedly traveling 79 mph in a 60 mph zone.

Upon pulling the man over and approaching his vehicle, the officer allegedly smelled a strong odor of alcohol wafting out of the man's vehicle. The man told the officer that a couple hours before picking up his daughter he'd had a few beers.

At first, the officer engaged the man in a routine field sobriety test, but upon struggling with that he was given a breath test which registered at a .16. The legal limit for driving after consuming alcoholic beverages in South Carolina is .08.

At that point, the man was detained in a local detention center.

The penalties for a high breath test can be immediate and severe. A breath test is considered to have a high rating if it registers at more than .15. Under implied consent laws, a high breath test means that a driver will have their license automatically revoked for at least 60 days, but possibly longer.

There are ways to mitigate the serious circumstances and penalties surrounding a DUI or high breath test conviction. The key to mitigation is crafting a strong defense strategy. With a strong DUI defense, the accused may be able to lessen the charges or potentially have them dismissed altogether.

Source: WISTV.com, "Police: Man driving 3 kids charged with DUI," Jason Old, Jan. 16, 2013

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