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The 2 elements that contribute to drunk driving charges

South Carolina is one of the nation's most appealing tourist locations -- but one of the drawbacks of our beautiful state is its strict adherence to draconian DUI laws. Your vacation in Charleston, for example, could be going swimmingly until you are hit with drunk driving charges while cruising back to your hotel from a night out. Do not allow law enforcement to bully you into submission through the drunk driving prosecution process -- instead, trust a reliable team of attorneys to help you understand your rights and responsibilities, promoting a positive outcome no matter the nature of your alleged offense.

Many drivers are not aware that there are two distinct elements to the drunk driving offense: "driving" and "under the influence." The legal process can be stymied at several points as officers attempt to prove that the operator was both in control of the vehicle and intoxicated at the time of arrest. In general, you are considered to be "driving" if the vehicle is on the roadway, you are in the driver's seat, the keys are in the ignition and the vehicle is in a drivable condition. You may be able to avoid DWI charges, for instance, if you were sleeping in the back seat of your vehicle with the keys out of the ignition.

The "under the influence" element is generally the focus of those seeking to avoid DWI offenses. In many cases, the driver's intoxication status is more difficult to prove than one might think. Unusual driving patterns, performance in a field sobriety test and blood alcohol content tests can all be used to establish levels of alleged intoxication.

The good news: An arrest for a DWI in Charleston does not mean that you will definitely be convicted. In fact, experienced attorneys may be able to dismantle prosecutors' efforts in the early stages of any case. There are just too many points at which errors can occur in a DWI case to consider these allegations open-and-shut at the time of the arrest.

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