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The right approach at a DUI checkpoint is a must

In the state of South Carolina, it's legal for police to set up a DUI checkpoint. As scary as it may be, when you take the right approach, you put yourself in position to avoid an arrest.

There are a variety of mistakes that people often make at a DUI checkpoint. The following five are among the most common:

  • Open alcohol container: If an officer spots an open alcohol container in your vehicle, you can be sure they assume that you've been drinking. Also, as a driver, it's your responsibility to make sure your passengers don't open alcohol in your car.
  • Erratic driving: As your nerves kick in, you may pump your brakes, move from lane to lane and even come to a stop while you process what's happening. All of these things look suspicious and will attract the attention of the officers at the checkpoint.
  • Talking back: Telling an officer they're wasting your time or doing something illegal is a huge mistake. Even if you're not arrested for DUI, you could run into a variety of other charges if you become too aggressive.
  • Attempting to drive through the checkpoint: Yes, you have legal rights as a driver, but you're required to stop at a checkpoint. You're not permitted to drive through it, ignoring the officer's call to stop, just because you think it's against the law (it isn't).
  • Illegal U-turn: You're not required by law to go through a DUI checkpoint. While you're permitted to make a U-turn, it must be done in accordance with the law. If an officer spots you violating the law, they're likely to pull you over. This can lead to a traffic ticket for the illegal U-turn, as well as a closer look into your sobriety.

Vacation injuries: Avoid injuries while away from home

Injuries can happen anywhere and at any time, even when you're hoping to enjoy a lovely vacation away from home. Vacations and holidays tend to lead to more mishaps than a typical day, because people want to try new things and participate in special activities. For example, someone heading to the coast might try parasailing or surfing, ending up with an injury.

On top of this, there is the fact that people have to travel to these new destinations, which may lead to crashes. People who are unfamiliar with an area are more likely to cause or be involved in a collision.

DUIs and speeding: Reckless behaviors threaten your license

Speeding and DUIs are some of the most common moving violations in the U.S. Both have the potential to threaten your license, especially if you are speeding while intoxicated.

There are different levels of penalties for those who commit these varying degrees of crimes. For example, if you speed 5 mph over the limit, you'll face lower penalties than someone speeding 15 or more mph over the limit. Excessive speeding could even lead to accusations of street racing, which could result in a misdemeanor, the loss of your license and fines.

Yes, your job could be at risk if you get a DUI

If you decide to head out with friends for the night and end up at the bar, keep in mind that you should find a safe way home or that your job could be put at risk. Many employers in South Carolina will not continue to employ those with DUI convictions. Why? They're a liability.

Almost anyone can end up with a DUI. It's easy to think that you're sober enough to drive when you're actually over the limit, especially if you don't carry your own Breathalyzer with you. Getting behind the wheel, even if it's only to travel a short distance, could end up resulting in a traffic stop and DUI charges.

Fight a DUI to protect your right to drive, work and learn

You're young, and while you're just old enough to drink legally, the full implications of getting caught and facing charges hasn't really been made clear to you. You are still in school and don't work, so your DUI might not impact you right away. However, there are some ways that a conviction could seriously hurt your future career, your schooling today and your chances of obtaining a job in the future.

DUIs are serious because of the risks drunk drivers pose to others. If you're caught with a blood alcohol content over .08%, you can expect the authorities to do what they can to get charges against you. You can expect the prosecution to attempt to obtain a conviction, even if this is your first offense.

No driver should ever give in to distractions

Drivers must be able to give their full attention to duties behind the wheel. There is no room for anything to take a driver's focus off of the road. When a motor vehicle operator is distracted, serious accidents can occur. These can cause catastrophic injuries or even deaths.

Distractions come in many forms, so anyone who is going to drive should ensure that they don't allow these to claim their attention. If there is an accident on the road, looking into these factors might help a victim to launch a claim for compensation.

These interstate driving tips will keep you safe

It doesn't matter if you enjoy driving on the interstate in South Carolina or attempt to avoid it at all costs, it's a must to follow a variety of safety tips to help prevent an accident.

With a high volume of vehicles moving at a high rate of speed, driving on the interstate is easier said than done. Here are five tips you can follow to enhance your safety:

  • Obey the speed limit: It's easy to speed on the interstate, especially if the flow of traffic is moving faster than the speed limit. Rather than attempt to keep up, move into the right lane and obey the rules of the road.
  • Leave more space: A safe following distance is a must, as it helps keep both you and other drivers safe. If you follow too closely, you may not have enough space to stop in the event of an emergency.
  • Make yourself visible around large vehicles: For example, commercial trucks are all over the state's interstates. Do your best to remain visible at all times, such as by avoiding blind spots and using your turn signal when changing lanes.
  • Don't switch lanes too often: It's okay to switch lanes when necessary, but don't make this a habit. As a general rule of thumb, use the right lane for travel and the left lane for passing.
  • Avoid distractions: You can't control other drivers, but you can avoid distractions in your own vehicle. Keep your cellphone out of reach, don't engage in too much conversation with your passengers and avoid eating or drinking. These are the types of steps you can take to avoid common distractions that have been proven to increase the risk of an accident.

Were you drunk or just tired?

Out looking for drunk drivers as the bars close in Mt. Pleasant for the night, a police officer pulls you over around 2:30 in the morning. He says that you rolled through a stop sign. After talking to you for a moment, he asks you to get out of the car and do some field sobriety tests.

You do them, but not well. You trip and fall while trying to walk in a straight line. You can't stand up on one leg.

Attitude and driving: Negativity leads to danger

Do you know someone who is generally a negative person? They constantly talk about how badly things are going in their life, they never seem to be enjoying themselves and they may even come across as neurotic. They're self-absorbed, but in the sense that they think everything is stacked against them. It's draining to spend time with them, and you wonder if they have emotional and even mental issues to deal with.

Well, according to some experts, that person could actually be more dangerous to be around, especially when they're on the road. When looking at profiles of dangerous drivers, they found that negative people fit the bill far more often.

Mixed drinks: Giving you a false sense of sobriety

When you drink, you may think you know how the alcohol will affect you. Since that's the case, you may also believe that there is no risk of a DUI if you get behind the wheel.

The trouble is that some drinks cause unexpected results. For example, some drinks combine soft drinks and hard liquor or sugary syrups with spirits. While this in itself isn't a problem, the issue that can result is that people may drink more alcohol than intended. The sugary taste hides the flavor of the alcohol, so people may mistakenly believe that the alcohol content is not as high as it is.

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