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March 2014 Archives

Effect of high court ruling on DUI laws is up in the air, Part 1

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court handled a landmark case for drugged and drunk driving cases. The nation's top court ruled that law enforcement officials cannot involuntarily draw blood samples from people who refuse to comply with the test unless a warrant is acquired. Authorities would only be able to obtain a blood sample against an individual's will under "exigent circumstances." Of course, this ruling has the potential to invalidate evidence in driving under the influence cases throughout the country.

Standard field sobriety tests may not always be accurate

When a person imagines what it would be like to be pulled over by a police officer on suspicion of drunk driving, he or she might include field sobriety tests in the mental picture. These tests are supposed to help cops detect signs of intoxication, so it might be natural to wonder: Are they actually effective?

South Carolina felony DUI laws are stringent, specific

Staring down felony charges for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs may feel incredibly intimidating. This feeling is understandable, knowing everything that is at stake in this type of criminal case. Not only are felony sentences typically harsh, but being convicted can cause a number of privileges or rights to become unavailable. For example, those who have a felony record typically cannot own firearms or vote in elections.

South Carolina bill would expand ignition interlock requirement

At first, it may not be entirely apparent how many areas of life can be affected by a drunk driving conviction. Not only that, but law enforcement officials are typically pretty aggressive about pursuing prosecution. When all is said and done, being convicted for driving under the influence amounts to much more than just a simple traffic fine.

Can I refuse to take a breath-alcohol test in South Carolina?

After pulling a driver over on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, police officers may ask the motorist to submit to a breath test. When this happens, the driver is confronted with the choice between complying or refusing. In the heat of the moment, it may be very difficult to determine the best course of action.

Can personal breath-test devices be trusted?

When getting together with friends, it isn't uncommon for adults to enjoy a few alcoholic beverages. Whether gathering at a bar, restaurant or private residence, many people do the responsible thing and take precautions to avoid driving while over the legal alcohol limit. Many people might limit their drink intake or arrange a safe ride home.

Federal drunk driving charges possible for offshore boaters

Due to this year's unseasonably cold and snowy winter, going for a boat ride might only be a distant thought in the minds of South Carolina residents. Hopefully, however, warmer weather will soon be here and boating enthusiasts can hit the water.

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