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South Carolina authorities track most frequent DUI charge areas

Previous postings have discussed South Carolina's efforts to decrease the occurrence of drunk driving within the state. There are a variety of strategies that authorities are using to accomplish this goal, but a particularly interesting one has recently been released by the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety. The department's DUI enforcement team has released a map of the city that tracks the locations where the most drunk driving charges have been issued.

The department created the DUI enforcement team after a grant was received to create this type of specialized unit. The map was released for a few different reasons. First of all, the department wants residents to realize that they have a DUI enforcement unit. In addition, the department believes that if people are aware of the DUI enforcement team's focus in certain areas, it will deter residents from driving while under the influence of alcohol. Lastly, the department believes it will help to increase awareness of the areas that unimpaired drivers need to have a heightened level of awareness.

The map was created by using the city's crime tracking system. According to the system, the location where drunk drivers are most often apprehended and charged is the intersection of Riverside Drive and John C. Calhoun Drive. The grant that is funding this project will run out in a year and the agency is already planning to re-apply to receive the funding again next year.

When charged with a DUI, the penalties, if convicted can be very severe. In every case, there is a potential license suspension. If it is the driver's first DUI offense, there is an automatic license suspension for a six-month timeframe. Beyond that, the suspension period can increase up to two years and in some cases, the penalty may become a permanent license revocation. In addition to license suspension, a driver may face monetary fines that can be very debilitating for one's finances.

In order to mitigate the negative impact DUI charges have on the life of the accused, it is always helpful to seek the assistance of an experienced DUI defense attorney in South Carolina. As a best case scenario, an attorney may be able to get the charges dropped, but, even in those cases where that's not an option, they are usually able to obtain a less severe penalty than that initially threatened by prosecutors.

Source: The Times and Democrat, "City police track where drunk drivers are found," Richard Walker, Aug. 18, 2013

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