South Carolina’s DUI Laws

On September 29, 2011, in Law Information, by admin


In South Carolina, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol and / or drugs. The drunk driving laws are complex and the fines are expensive, so if you’re arrested for DUI, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible after arrest.

Blood Alcohol Content

The blood alcohol content (BAC) threshold for driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration (DUAC) is 0.08% and for DUI is 0.10%, and anyone arrested for DUAC or DUI faces the risk of losing their driving privileges in addition to paying fines and attending the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP).

Implied consent and License Suspension

By operating a motor vehicle in South Carolina, you consent to submit a sample of breath, urine, or blood to test for alcohol or drugs. You can refuse the test, but that triggers an automatic license suspension for six months. In the event you submit to the test, and it is determined that your BAC is 0.15% or higher, your driving privileges are automatically suspended for 1 month.

There is an opportunity to challenge a suspension, however, by filing for an Administrative Hearing within 30 days of the suspension date.

During the time your regular drivers license is suspended, there are a variety of alternative driving license options available depending on the individual and the circumstances surrounding the case. This is another important reason to contact a South Carolina DUI attorney immediately for representation, should you find yourself in this situation.

Videotaped observation period

South Carolina law requires the arresting officer to videotape a defendant’s conduct at both the DUI arrest and breath test sites. There are numerous requirements for these videos. For example, the incident site recording must begin no later than the activation of the officer’s blue lights and include any field sobriety tests as well as the person being advised of their Miranda rights. At the breath test site, South Carolina law mandates that the entire test procedure be recorded, including a 20-minute observation period.  Of further importance, any breath sample must be taken within two hours from the time of arrest.

Although there are special exceptions that allow officers to deviate from the videotape requirements, they are limited and specific. Therefore, an officer’s failure to comply with the videotape procedures may often result in a case dismissal.

DUI penalties

A first offense can result in a fine up to $1,000.00 and imprisonment for up to 90 days. A second offense can warrant a fine up to $6,500 and up to three years in jail.  A third offense penalty include a fine of up to $10,000.00 and up to five years in jail. A fourth or subsequent DUI is a felony and carries up to seven years in jail.

Repeat offenses and Interstate Driver’s License Compact

A second DUI in any 10-year period is a repeat offense. A fourth DUI conviction is a felony no matter when or where the other three convictions occurred. South Carolina reports convictions to other states through the Interstate Driver’s License Compact, an agreement among 45 states to report convictions and actions taken against drunk drivers. Every state agrees to reciprocate, meaning that the action taken in one state against a driver will be taken in any other Compact state.

As with any other criminal defense matter, contacting a DUI lawyer as soon as possible ensures your rights are protected.

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Workplace Accidents: Know Your Rights

On September 27, 2011, in Law Information, by admin

workplace accidentsIf you’re considered an employee under the South Carolina Worker’s Compensation Act, you’re likely covered under workers’ compensation insurance, also known as workman’s compensation, which pays for medical care and rehabilitation after a workplace accident. Worker’s comp may also pay for disability resulting from an accident, as well as lost wages.

Problems arise when insurance companies minimize the severity of your injury or disability to pay you as little accident compensation as possible. Know your rights and responsibilities if you have a workplace accident.

Report your accident immediately.

Talk to your supervisor and follow any procedures your employer has regarding accident reporting. Do whatever you can to report it in writing, if your employer does not require it. This could be in the form of an email or letter, and be sure to keep a copy with proof of delivery.

Know where to go for treatment.

When you have a workplace accident with injury, you are usually required to visit the employer’s designated medical provider. Be sure you know who that provider is.

Consider consulting a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.

Your employer’s insurance company will use any means necessary to pay as little as possible, including hiring attorneys and adjusters. You’ll be at a significant disadvantage unless you hire your own workplace accident lawyer to fight for your rights. You do have a right to request a hearing if you are not satisfied with the accident compensation you receive, and having a lawyer present will increase your chances of winning the case.

Determine whether any third parties are involved.

Your workers’ comp attorney will ask you about any third parties that may have been involved in your accident, such as contractors or equipment manufacturers. Be as detailed as possible when describing the accident to your lawyer.

Know what happens to your income if you go back to work part time or must stay home.

After you’ve been treated, your next concern is your income. If you cannot work, you may be entitled to receive wage compensation while you are off work, no matter who was at fault in your accident. Often, you will be offered less than you deserve, so be sure to check with a worker’s compensation lawyer before accepting any offer from your employer or its insurance company.

Make sure your dependents are familiar with how workers’ compensation works.

In the event you are incapacitated or killed in a workplace accident, your dependents need to know their rights so they receive fair accident compensation. Share this blog post with them so they know what to do, just in case.

If you have been involved in an accident at work, you need a workplace accident attorney who will fight for your rights. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company will do everything in its power to pay you less than you deserve, so level the field with your own representation.

For more information on steps to take after experiencing a workplace accident, click here.

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When you’re on a motorcycle trip, one of the most exciting treats is finding a unique bed and breakfast to stay in. Here are three not to be missed:

Image to the left taken from the East Main Guest House Bed & Breakfast Inn website.




East Main Guest House Bed & Breakfast Inn

This 1916 home is located in Rock Hill, and is a beautiful combination of antiques, art, and pine floors. It has several rooms to choose from, such as the romantic Honeymoon Suite with a fireplace, canopy bed, and whirlpool garden tub. The East Room is a lovely, dignified suite with designer window treatments, and the Garden Room’s windows let in plenty of sunlight and give you a stunning view of the gardens and pergola.

East Main Guest House offers a sitting room with a game table, television, and puzzles, and the rooms have Wi-Fi and cable television. A hot gourmet breakfast is served every morning with coffee, tea, juice, fruit, muffins, and croissants.

The Governor’s House Inn

Travel Holiday says that The Governor’s House Inn has the most glamorous feel and most sophisticated style of all the inns in Charleston. A former governor’s mansion, this enchanting inn has the distinction of being a pre-Revolution National Landmark and boasts stunning drawing rooms and verandah porches.

Image above taken from The Governor’s House Inn website.



The Governor’s House Inn was the residence of Edward Rutledge, the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence. It is located within walking distance of the historic Battery, the Old Market, and the Gibbs Art Museum. Its suites each have a distinctive look and personality. The Rutledge Suite boasts a large master bedroom with canopied 4-poster bed, Italian chandeliers, private porch, and marble bathroom with whirlpool.

If you desire, the staff will handle all your entertainment and dining arrangements, and a gourmet southern breakfast awaits you every morning. Should you choose, you might enjoy afternoon tea, wine and cheese, and sherry in the parlor in the evening.

The Red Horse Inn

If you love the outdoors and cozy cottages, the Red Horse Inn is for you. Located in Landrum, at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this AAA 4-Diamond bed and breakfast is one of’s “Top 25 Best Undiscovered Incredibly Romantic Inns.” The spacious Springhouse Cottage has a private deck leading to a relaxing outdoor spa, and mountain views await you from a luxurious king-size bed and tall arched windows. The Carriage Bay Cottage has a romantic loft, fireplace nook, and whirlpool tub.

The Red Horse Inn also offers romantic packages that include roses, wine or champagne, and strawberries with dipping chocolate. Your breakfast is prepared before your arrival and stored in your kitchen, ready whenever you are.

Which B&B would you like to visit, and why?

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Charleston motorcycle accident attorney

The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies has ranked South Carolina number 4 on their list of the best states to ride motorcycles, following Florida, Georgia, and Arizona. Others on the list include Texas, Hawaii, Nebraska, and Utah.

To determine their top 20 states, Progressive looked at specific data such as:

  • Gasoline prices.
  • Population density.
  • Risk of motorcycle accident.
  • Number of good riding days based on precipitation and temperature.
  • Percentage of smooth roads.

According to Progressive’s product manager Dan Kamionkowski, “American riding is as diverse as American riders from the city rider to the country cruiser. Some states that you may consider obvious good places to ride were not included in the top 20 when all data were taken into account, but they’re still great options.” For example, sunny California has high gas prices and population density, so they didn’t make the top 20.

South Carolina ranked #5 in lowest likelihood of a motorcycle crash, as well as #5 for lowest gas prices. As motorcycle accident lawyers, we know that the roads and riders in South Carolina are some of the safest in the nation. Kamionkowski stated that Progressive, one of the top motorcycle insurers, published this list to help bikers maximize their time riding.

This list doesn’t surprise anyone who rides in South Carolina. Our state and national parks, historic areas, and sandy beaches are a rider’s paradise. We have scenic roads like nowhere else, such as the Savannah River Scenic Byway, which takes you to Clarks Hill Recreation Area, the Strom Thurmond Visitor Center, and Hamilton Branch and Baker Creek State Parks. All of these areas can be toured in one day as you follow the Savannah River through Sumter National Forest.

Another scenic ride takes you from the historic town of Beaufort through Hunting Island State Park to Fripp Island. You’ll see Beaufort’s historic district, incredible restaurants and shops, barrier islands, plenty of water, and spectacular pull-off areas to take amazing photographs. Beaufort is also the home of the Beaufort National Cemetery, designed by Abraham Lincoln, and Parris Island, a training post for the Marine Corps.

For more information, visit

What is your favorite South Carolina scenic ride?


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Charleston motor vehicle accident lawyerAs Goose Creek motorcycle accident lawyers who ride, we know that riding a bike is not only a lot of fun, but it also makes good financial sense. The cost of ownership of a motorcycle is typically much less than that of a car, as you’ll see below.

Great gas mileage.

Motorcycles are capable of 60 mpg or more in town—and even more on the highway—while non-hybrid cars average 25-30 mpg in town at best. The gas tank on a motorcycle is just a few gallons, so you benefit twice: fewer fill-ups for much less each time, putting more money in your pocket.

Few mechanical issues and lower cost of maintenance.

The simplicity of the motorcycle engine means you have fewer things that can go wrong, and those who are mechanically inclined can easily learn to fix most issues. Cars have become so complicated, with so many sensors and computers, that you need to take them to a competent mechanic or the dealership, which is expensive. Parts for bikes are also relatively cheaper than car parts.

With a motorcycle, you have fewer tires and less oil to buy, and routine maintenance on a motorcycle engine is simple and inexpensive.

Lower cost for insurance and license plates.

Bikes are cheaper to replace than cars, and they do much less damage to other vehicles, so liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage for motorcycle insurance is less than for auto insurance. However, motorcycle accidents tend to cause more bodily injury than car accidents, so some companies may have higher rates for that coverage. In addition, you may be required to add passenger coverage if you regularly ride with someone. As always, shop around.

In many places, license plate cost is based partially on the weight or the value of the vehicle, making motorcycle plates cheaper.

Less expensive to buy than a car.

If you buy a used motorcycle, you can get away with paying much less for a good bike than you can for a good car. Even if you splurge and buy a new motorcycle, you’ll probably pay much less than you will for a new car. Sales and use tax will also be less for a motorcycle.

Fun, inexpensive entertainment.

Taking a ride on your bike, even if you travel a long distance, is less expensive than a dinner and movie or a sporting event. And you’ll have just as much fun, if not more.

What’s your favorite part of saving money by riding your motorcycle?

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South Carolina auto accident attorneysAll too often, people arrive at motor vehicle hearings unprepared, when a little homework and knowledge would make all the difference in the outcome. The Office of Motor Vehicle Hearings (OMVH) is meant to be an objective and fair meeting place to hear your case, but you need to know what you’re doing before you go.

First, be sure to thoroughly study all the documentation you receive from the OMVH, so you know what’s going on and what you’ll need to do. Many people skip this and later wish they hadn’t. If you have to go through a hearing, you want to win, and understanding the documentation is the first step in that direction.

A Hearing Officer will be assigned to your case, and if you need to contact his or her assistant, that information will be in the brochure you receive. You cannot speak with the Hearing Officer directly unless the other parties to the case are present. The assistant will help you with scheduling and answer procedural questions, but no one in the OMVH can offer legal advice.

Second, decide whether you want an attorney to represent you. You can represent yourself (pro se) or retain an attorney—no one else can argue your case at the hearing. As South Carolina auto accident attorneys, of course we recommend you protect your rights by hiring legal counsel, but only you can make that decision.

Your case documentation will include deadlines you must meet. If you need to file any kind of motion or response, it must be done in writing and mailed or hand-delivered. If you use the mail, we recommend that you send it registered or certified so you have proof of receipt. Your docket number must appear on everything, and anything you send to the OMVH must go to every party in your case.

If you and the parties to your case settle the matter out of court, or you wish to withdraw your request for a hearing, notify the Hearing Officer immediately by phone or in writing. Otherwise, your hearing will proceed much like a trial, with opening and closing statements, presentation of evidence, and examination of witnesses.

If you have requested the hearing, you have the burden of proof. Be sure you have credible witnesses and documentation proving your side of the case. Anything you submit into evidence becomes the property of the OMVH. You have the right to subpoena witnesses, but you must arrange and pay for it. Always present yourself as professionally as possible, and stick to the facts of the case.

The Hearing Officer issues a written decision as soon as possible, but no guidelines govern decision timelines. If you wish to appeal a decision, you may do so within 30 days after you receive the decision, and an Administrative Law Judge will hear the appeal.

For more information, click here to download the Office of Motor Vehicle Hearings guide.

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Charleston motorcycle accident lawyerAs Charleston motorcycle accident lawyers, we encourage our clients to resume riding as soon as they feel comfortable after an accident. It’s normal to be anxious or afraid of the bike after an injury, but the sooner you get back in the saddle, the sooner you put the motorcycle accident behind you. After helping many clients go back to riding, we’ve found a few tips that really help.

Put the accident or injury in perspective.

How long have you ridden without an injury or accident?

Thousands of miles? Tens of thousands of miles? More?

How many years have you ridden injury- and accident-free?

When you start thinking of your riding by the numbers, you’ll see that while the injury was a significant event at that point in time, in the grand scheme of things it’s not as significant as you thought it was.

Think about what you could have done differently, if anything.

Was the injury your fault, or someone else’s? If it was yours, think about what you could change to reduce your risk in the future. Usually one tweak will make a tremendous difference. If you were lane splitting, perhaps you’ll stop or do it only in specific circumstances. If you weren’t wearing a helmet, maybe now is the time to start.

And sometimes an accident is just that—an accident. Don’t let what happened in a single moment stop you from doing something you enjoy.

Consider a new level of protection and perhaps a safety class.

Helmets, leather, and other protective gear reduce your chances of injury, but are a choice only you can make. For some, this gear is uncomfortable, while others feel it hampers their movement or ability to ride. A safety class will increase your confidence and remind you that while biking can be dangerous, you do have some control over what happens to you.

Take it slow.

If you’re feeling nervous about riding, start easy.  Ride on the back of someone else’s bike, or cruise around your neighborhood before taking your bike on the highway. Ride alone for a while before taking on passengers, or ride during periods of less traffic. You’ll build your confidence back in no time—just take your time and ease back into it.

Remember: the longer you stay off your bike, the harder it will be to get back on. Your bike is the same machine you happily rode before the injury, and it has many miles left on it.

Do what you love and enjoy your life—get back in the saddle and ride!

What are your thoughts and advice for getting back on a bike after a motorcycle injury?

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motorcycle information

Here’s What You Need to Know

Have you been reading this blog because you’re new to biking and not sure if it’s right for you? If so, we have a few ideas to help you get off the fence about buying a motorcycle and joining us in the exciting world of biking.

Talk to other bikers.

Don’t be afraid to walk up to bikers and ask them about their experiences. Most of them love to talk motorcycles, especially to anyone who is curious and thinking about becoming bikers themselves. Buy them a beer and ask away, and don’t forget to find out what they wish they had known about motorcycles and what they would have done differently. You want to hear the positive and the negative.

If possible, talk to someone who is approximately your height and weight and find out what kind of bike they ride and why, so you can get started on the next step.

Research different types of bikes.

If you don’t buy the right bike, you won’t want to ride it. There are several different types of bikes, and it’s well worth your time to do your research. Go to websites like Cycle Trader and to get a feel for what’s out there. Go to a dealership and sit on a few bikes to decide which handlebars you like. You can also read this post for more ideas to determine your perfect bike.

Know the traffic laws.

As motorcycle accident lawyers, we regularly talk with people who weren’t as knowledgeable as they could have been about traffic laws. Our website has a link to South Carolina motor vehicle law, and we always advise new riders to familiarize themselves with the law before riding.

Put safety first.

Do you plan to wear a helmet? How about leather? The more you can protect yourself in case of accident, the better. Remember that when you’re riding, you’ll be much smaller than a car and not easily seen. You want to assume you’re invisible to drivers, so you’ll always need to leave plenty of space between you and other vehicles. For some, this can be very stressful and cut down on the enjoyment they expected to have while riding.

Taking a motorcycle safety course is a good way to become knowledgeable about ways to help drivers see you and to keep yourself safe in traffic.

Try before you buy.

If you have a friend that’s a biker, perhaps he or she could give you a little taste of what riding is like. You could ride on the back of a bike, or maybe get a riding lesson. Try biking to see if you like it before you jump into it.

Find out how much everything will cost.

Once you’ve determined which bike you’ll need, find out how much everything will cost. Add the cost of insurance, licensing, safety equipment, clothing, and safety courses.

And finally, go with your gut. What is it telling you to do? Are you ready to ride?

Do you have any ideas for those new to motorcycles?

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South Carolina Motorcycle events

Image above taken from the ABATE of SC website.

Sponsored by HOGWYLD and Lake Murray ABATE, the 11th Annual Freedom Ride takes place Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 11 a.m.

At noon, the group will leave the parking lot of Chaplin Bi-Lo off Highway 76, and there will be a police escort to the South Carolina State House to listen to special speakers on the Statehouse steps. After the speeches, the group will ride to Ray’s in Ballentine, SC for food and entertainment. Participants are requested to wear their red, white, and blue, and to bring any old cell phones and accessories to benefit Cell Phones for Soldiers.

ABATE of South Carolina, Inc. is the organization that protects motorcyclist’s rights in South Carolina. In June of 1980, ABATE members succeeded in protecting bikers’ freedom of choice when South Carolina’s mandatory helmet law was amended to allow adults to decide for themselves whether to wear helmets.

ABATE stands for A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments, and it defends liberty. It does not oppose safety devices, but it does oppose laws that mandate using these devices. According to its constitution, “the purpose of ABATE of South Carolina is to form a not-for-profit association at the state level to protect the rights and liberties of motorcyclists, and promote motorcycle awareness and voluntary motorcycle rider training.”

For more information, email, or call 803.351.2987. ABATE SC’s website is

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