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Don't go on vacation and leave on probation

Charleston and its surrounding smaller towns remain a popular spring and Easter break vacation spot here in South Carolina. Often, students and families from the northern states where winter is still bringing snow and cold temperatures head south to sunnier climes to enjoy the beaches and sun.

However, problems can arise where those who are celebrating their time off from school and work throw caution to the wind and wind up breaking some South Carolina laws. Often, they get apprehended for driving under the influence (DUI).

Arrive on vacation, leave on probation

The above slogan looks far better on a cheap T-shirt than on your rap sheet. But it doesn't take an egregious action on your part to wind up running afoul of state or city laws. What may be legal in your state, e.g., recreational marijuana, could easily land you behind bars here in South Carolina. And although drinking and driving is illegal in all 50 states, those on vacation sometimes don't realize that they are actually past the legal limit because they are in a party mindset and not mindful of their own intoxication.

Buzzed driving will get you busted

Maybe you typically are able to toss back four or five after-work beers with the happy hour crowd at your favorite watering hole. You then drive home without any issues and never feel drunk. While that probably is not a good idea at any time or place, it can be especially ill-advised when on vacation.

For one, if you have spent the day in the sun, that alone can have an energy-sapping effect on your body. You may have forgotten how many umbrella drinks you had at the tiki bar on the beach -- was that two or three Bahama Mamas? Then, when you later head out to eat dinner, you had another round of drinks while waiting for your table and split a bottle of wine with your meal.

Driving back, it's now dark and you aren't entirely sure of the route back to your hotel. That uncertainty coupled with the alcohol you consumed can make your driving erratic and you a magnet for a cop on DUI patrol.

Drunk driving charges can be defended

If you get arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, all is not necessarily lost. The less evidence you willingly hand over to the police, the better. Refuse all roadside sobriety tests and exercise your constitutional right to remain silent until you have a chance to speak to a criminal defense attorney.

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