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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dui attorneyBeing pulled over for DUI or DUAC is one of the most frightening situations you can be in, but knowing what to do beforehand can make the difference between dismissal and conviction.

First, as DUI lawyers in South Carolina, let us say that you should never drink and drive. If you go out, have a designated driver—or if you do have too many drinks, call a friend or taxi to take you home. However, if you’re arrested on suspicion of DUI or DUAC, take the following steps to give your DUI attorney the best chance of defending you.

Before anything happens, know which lawyer you would call, and do it as soon as possible.

Put a South Carolina DUI attorney’s number in your cell phone, and make sure your family members have the number also, just in case. Better to have it and never need it than to need it and not have it.

Be aware that the entire arrest must be videotaped.

While there are exceptions to this requirement, generally speaking from the moment you’re pulled over until you’re on your way to the police station, the arrest must be videotaped. This includes the Miranda Warnings, the entire testing procedure, and a 20-minute observation period. The police must perform and tape the breath test within two hours of pulling you over.

While you may be experiencing a variety of emotions during this process, our best advice is to remain polite and cooperative.

Remember that you have the right to remain silent.

You are not required to answer any questions that a police officer asks you. Your right to remain silent cannot be held against you, but if you speak and seem to be slurring your words, that can be used to convict you. Further, it is never a good idea to be rude or threatening towards an officer. This type of behavior only further complicates future negotiations.

Know that you have the right to refuse roadside sobriety tests. 

Field sobriety tests can be extremely difficult for even sober individuals to perform correctly. This is especially true if you have a medical condition that hinders your capabilities. The time of day, location and terrain of the incident site can all further impact your ability to successfully complete these test.

A refusal to take a field sobriety test may not be considered disobeying a police command.

Understand the consequences of refusing a breathalyzer.

You have every right to refuse to blow into a breathalyzer, but as South Carolina is an implied consent state, your license will be automatically suspended for six months if you refuse. There are, however, alternative license options available that your attorney can further explain to you.

Even if you’re too nervous to remember all of these tips, taking just one or two will help your SC DUI lawyer defend your case.

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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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new years in Charleston

Ringing in the New Year is one of the most exciting times of the year! Champagne, dancing, singing, and socializing, all wrapped up into one night is always a blast. Here, at Uricchio Law Firm, we’d like to wish you a happy and safe New Year’s. We’d also like to provide you with just a few safety tips to avoid personal injury and DUI charges this New Year’s Eve.

See below:

  • Have a designated driver: If you’re going to be traveling during New Year’s Eve and New Year’s be sure to have a designated driver planned out for the evening. This decreases your chances and the chances of other drives from being involved in a motor vehicle accident, as well as eliminates your chances of being charged with a DUI. Also, there is often a much higher amount of police surveying the roads for drunk drivers.
  • Try to stay off the roads as much as possible: Even if you have a designated driver for yourself, you cannot prevent drunk drivers and careless drivers from causing an accident with your vehicle. When you stay off the roads as much as possible, you automatically reduce your chances of being involved in a motor vehicle accident.
  • Have a plan and stick to it: Before you go out for the night, decide who you will be going with, where you will be going, and what the environment will be like at your destination(s). Always stay with the friends you went to the party or bar with, especially if you are unfamiliar with the other individuals attending. Watch out for yourself and for your friends and never take a drink from an unfamiliar person. A rule of thumb is to always watch your drink being made and never lose sight of it from point A (the bar) to point B (your hand).

Stay safe and have a wonderful New Year’s!

What will you be doing this New Year’s Eve?

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This is my second blog post in a series dedicated to reviewing South Carolina laws pertaining to the rights and duties of bikers.

SECTION 56-5-3640. Motorcycle entitled to full use of lane; riding two or more abreast; overtaking and passing; operation in other instances.

(a) All motorcycles are entitled to full use of a lane and no motor vehicle shall be driven in such a manner as to deprive any motorcycle of the full use of a lane. This shall not apply to motorcycles operated two abreast in a single lane.

**Many drivers fail to understand that a motorcycle is entitled to the same full use of a lane as if it were a car or truck.

(b) The operator of a motorcycle shall not overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken.

**The same concept as if you were driving a car.

(c) No person shall operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic, or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.

**Also known as “lane splitting,” this is not legal in South Carolina.

(Image below was taken from Motorcycle Cruiser)

Lane Splitting image taken from Motorcycle Cruiser

(d) Motorcycles shall not be operated more than two abreast in a single lane.

**As long as it’s only two bikes riding side by side, you are ok:

(Image below was taken from Diamondback Bobbers)

Image taken from Diamondback Bobbers

(e) Items (b) and (c) shall not apply to police officers in the performance of their official duties.

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