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Out of state? You can still get a DUI

South Carolina, like other states, prohibits people from driving when they are impaired by alcohol. South Carolina's blood alcohol content limit is .08%, which means that anyone at or over that limit can be charged with a DUI. If you are under the limit, you may still face a DUI if you fail the roadside sobriety tests or if there is other evidence of intoxication or impairment.

If you are not from South Carolina but are facing a DUI, you can still face criminal penalties. If you are under 21, you can have your license automatically suspended for three months. You will lose it for six months if you have a prior offense. The law allows a BAC of up to .02% before penalties for the zero-tolerance law apply. If you refuse to consent to BAC testing, then you will have your license automatically suspended for six months on a first offense and a year for a second or subsequent offense.

Sobriety tests aren't always right: Here's why

If you're stopped by the authorities, they may state that they want you to take a field sobriety test, especially if you take a Breathalyzer test and have a blood alcohol content that is close to .08%. The goal of field sobriety testing is to see if you're impaired or able to drive safely.

Field sobriety tests have been used for decades, but in the 1970s, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did ask for the evaluation of these tests to see if they were accurate. The institute that performed the research, the Southern California Research Institute, recommended three field sobriety tests that were the most accurate:

  • One-leg stand
  • Walk and turn
  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus

Know your limits: What does it take to get to .08%?

When you plan a night out for drinking, one thing you have to be cautious of is how much alcohol you have. The number of drinks matters, as does the percentage of alcohol and the way your body is metabolizing it.

It's not always simple to know your limit, which is why it's advisible to stop drinking an hour or two before you intend to leave an event. Additionally, it's a smart choice to carry a smartphone Breathalyzer or a pocket-sized breath test to guarantee that you're legal to drive.

How to yield safely onto the interstate

There is more to driving on the interstate than getting up to speed, moving into the right lane and staying there until it's time to exit. For example, before you can drive on the interstate, you must first yield into traffic.

The more you drive, the more you'll understand how to safely yield. However, even the most experienced drivers run into trouble from time to time. There are many reasons for this, ranging from fast moving traffic to congestion.

Don't assume that staying under the legal limit means no DUI

You have never gotten a DUI before, but you are well aware that the legal limit is 0.08%. You have to keep your blood alcohol concentration under that level or you could face charges.

You do everything you can to adhere to that rule. You pay attention to how much you drink. You learn about how fast your BAC can rise and fall. You find out exactly how different the alcohol content can be from one drink to the next. You even buy yourself a small breath test to use if you think you're close.

3 reasons a guilty plea for a DUI could be a mistake

Getting pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) is an embarrassing and frightening experience. For many people, it can also be a mistake that has lasting consequences for multiple important areas of their lives.

It is common for people facing DUI charges in South Carolina to feel desperate for any way in which to reduce the embarrassment and social consequences of impaired driving charges. Quite a few people seem to think that just pleading guilty is the solution to moving on quickly when facing criminal charges like impaired driving.

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.

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