South Carolina DUI lawyerWhile holiday parties are fun and a wonderful way to celebrate the season, too many partiers end up with a nasty surprise: a DUI charge and a South Carolina DUI attorney. Fortunately, avoiding a DUI is easy if you know how.

Have only one drink per hour.

Your liver can process the alcohol from one shot, one beer, or one glass of wine per hour. If you stay within that guideline, you won’t have enough alcohol in your system at any one time to warrant a DUI charge.

If you think you’ll have a hard time drinking only one an hour, ask for nonalcoholic drinks in between the alcoholic ones. You can also use a blood alcohol content calculator and determine how many drinks you can have per hour to stay below the legal level. To be safe, drink less than the calculator allows.

Drink early in the evening.

Some holiday revelers prefer to have three or four drinks early in the evening and then switch to nonalcoholic drinks for the rest of the night. Just make sure you wait a full hour per drink before driving home.

Avoid sobriety checkpoints.

Many cities have sobriety checkpoints set up at specific locations, in which they pull over drivers to see if they’re sober. Sometimes you’ll know ahead of time where they are, and even if you’ve had only a little to drink, you should avoid them whenever possible.

If you do go through a checkpoint and are detained on suspicion of DUI, call a good South Carolina DUI lawyer as soon as possible, and do not say anything to police that could be used against you. Know your rights and the DUI arrest procedure police must follow.

Have a designated driver.

If you go with a group, have someone be the designated driver so no one has to worry about counting drinks. Make sure your driver is responsible and truly will stay sober. Make sure the bartender knows who the driver is—often the designated driver can drink soda, tea, and coffee free.

Take a taxi.

If you end up drinking too much, take a taxi home. You can always go and pick up your car the next day. If you know beforehand that you’re likely to drink more than you should, take a taxi to the party. It may be expensive, but it’s much less than a DUI will cost you.

For more South Carolina law tips, visit us on Facebook.

  • Share/Bookmark

DUISummertime typically evokes happy memories of cookouts, boating, family vacations and fun in the sun. While sunburns, jelly fish stings and broken air conditioning units represent some of the not-so-fun summer experiences, DUI arrests fall into their own category of a summer nightmare.

In a recent decision by the South Carolina Court of Appeals, State v. Herchek, the issue before the Court was whether police are required to videotape a suspected DUI defendant’s conduct for the required 20-minute pre-breath test period if the defendant refuses to take the breath test. While the opinion rendered in this case is unpublished, and therefore can not be cited or used to set precedent, it nevertheless provides important guidance on this issue.

Mr. Herchek was detained under suspicion of driving under the influence and refused to submit to a breath test. While it is required by South Carolina Statute § 56-5-2953, to record a Defendant’s conduct at the breath test site for a 20-minute observation period, the officer failed to do so, as it was not required under South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) policy. The Magistrate in Herchek’s case, therefore, dismissed the DUI charge on this ground.

The State appealed to the Circuit Court, which upheld the Magistrate’s dismissal. The State then appealed the Circuit Court’s ruling to the Court of Appeals, where the dismissal was again affirmed.

It is worth noting that as of May 2011, SLED policy had not changed in light of the Court of Appeals recent Opinion. Officers are not required to record the observation period when the driver refuses the breath test; however, many are recording the full 20 minutes, as required by South Carolina law.

One of the main focuses of the Uricchio Law Firm is criminal defense. We handle DUI cases in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties. For more information about Uricchio Law Firm and our criminal defense practice, please click here.

We would like to thank Bobby Frederick, an attorney in Myrtle Beach, for bringing this case to our attention through his excellent criminal defense blog. To read his post of this case, please click here.

What is your opinion of this South Carolina Law? We want to know.

  • Share/Bookmark