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.

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criminal defense attorneyA world without skilled criminal defense attorneys to protect our rights would be a very scary place indeed. When you need a good South Carolina criminal defense attorney, you’re making one of the biggest decisions of your life, and you need to know what to expect from your lawyer.

Experience and expertise

An arrest can haunt you for the rest of your life, so you need an attorney who can successfully challenge criminal accusations. Especially if you are facing severe penalties, high fines, or jail time, you want a Charleston criminal defense attorney who has extensive experience in the type of crime you have been accused of. He or she will be an expert in case law, precedent, and how to best defend you against the charges.

When you meet with a prospective lawyer, ask how many cases like yours he or she has handled and how many were successful. If you sense hesitation, or the attorney has not handled as many cases as you feel comfortable with, look for a different attorney. However, if money is an issue and your prospective attorney is part of a firm with plenty of experience, he or she will have the firm’s expertise backing him or her. Often, less-experienced lawyers are more affordable than their firm’s partners are.

Full spectrum of representation

You want an attorney who is just as skilled at bond reduction as he or she is at a jury trial. Your law firm should be able to successfully handle your case from arrest through expungement.

Excellent investigative skills

Your attorney should have investigators who are highly trained in collecting evidence in your defense. If a prospective attorney doesn’t mention investigation on your behalf, look elsewhere.

Aggressive defense attitude

You want your criminal defense lawyer to fight for you as if he or she were the defendant. If you meet with a prospective attorney and don’t feel a sense of urgency and aggressive protection of your rights, he or she is not for you.

Available 24/7

Not everything in life happens during business hours. Your South Carolina criminal defense attorney should be willing and able to meet with you when you need him or her, and let you know that when you retain him or her.

We know that justice can be elusive for those accused of a crime, guilty or not. We do not tolerate abuses of power, and we will not hesitate to act aggressively defending your rights. Whether you have been accused of criminal domestic violence, criminal sexual conduct, shoplifting, or DUI / DWI, we will aggressively defend you. No matter where you live in the Charleston area, whether it’s Isle of Palms, Summerville, or Folly Beach, we uphold your rights and ensure the law treats you fairly.

Have questions about criminal defense? Contact us today.

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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.

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