Drivers who have been pulled over in South Carolina on suspicion of drinking while driving may have been subjected to a Breathalyzer test or a field sobriety test. Certain studies, however, challenge the results of the technology used to measure the alcohol content of the accused. While the content of alcohol in the body is best measured by taking the blood alcohol content, the breath alcohol content is not always reliable in telling whether a person is driving over the legal limit of .08.

The conversion process

After someone gives a sample in the Breathalyzer device, the resulting breath alcohol content is then converted to an estimated blood alcohol content level using a standardized formula. According to studies performed by LaBianca, Simpson and Thompson, a substantial margin of error was found during this conversion process, up to 50 percent in some instances. Some states allow the breath alcohol content as irrefutable evidence of driving over the legal limit and can use it to incriminate the innocent.

Implied consent law

According to South Carolina's implied consent law, drivers are required to submit to a Breathalyzer or blood test if an officer has reasonable suspicion that they are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If a driver refuses the test, his or her license is suspended for a minimum of 90 days.

Consequences of a DUI

Being charged with DUI in South Carolina can wreak havoc on your driving record, as well as many other areas of your life. Here are just a few of the negative consequences facing a first-time DUI offender:

  • Mandatory enrollment in the South Carolina Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program
  • A minimum fine of $400

  • Jail time of 48 hours to 30 days
  • Six-month driver's license suspension

For second and third offenders, the penalties become more severe.

Avoid a conviction

The best way to avoid being charged with a DUI offense is to never drive after having a few drinks. Every individual is different and their alcohol content may vary, as it is based on their specific body mass index and other unique characteristics. Here are a few ways that you can avoid being involved in the DUI process:

  • Designate a sober driver when going out for drinks.
  • Download a Breathalyzer app, such as Drive Sober or Sober App. These new apps are formatted for the Android or iPhone and will estimate your breath alcohol content.
  • Call a taxi. If everyone wants to join in the festivities, call a taxi or use the local transit system. The cost is relatively low when you factor in the possible consequences of a DUI.

Taking the proper safety precautions can save you from being convicted of DUI and can save lives.

Call a professional

If you have been accused of driving under the influence, it is important to partner with a reputable DUI attorney who can ensure that all of your rights are upheld in court. Be sure to find a DUI attorney who is knowledgeable in handling the complicated DUI regulations in South Carolina to better your results.