It is September, the time when young people go back to school. There are college parties and get-togethers. People not even old enough to legally drink start to celebrate with their friends. Sometimes, rather than using a rideshare company, people decide it is safe to drive, resulting in a DUI.
Drinking is on the rise, especially amongst teens and college students. With increased drinking comes increased drinking and driving. Despite the obvious dangers of drunk driving, young people still do it. They may have a few beers at a bar and then decide to drive home. They go to a fraternity party and then drive back to their dorm.
Every state is cracking down on drunk driving. The legal limit is becoming lower in a lot of states. South Carolina has its own drinking and driving laws.
Drunk Driving Laws in South Carolina
The drunk driving laws in South Carolina are similar to the rest of the United States. It is illegal to drive in South Carolina if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is higher than .08. If you are under 21, the legal limit drops to .02. This is because if you’re under 21 you shouldn’t be drinking at all.
The penalty for drunk driving in Clemson, SC increases with each offense. A guilty plea or conviction carries a suspension of your driver’s license. It also carries heavy fines and court fees. These go up each time you are convicted of the offense.
There are additional penalties if you refuse to take a breathalyzer. If you refuse a chemical test and it’s your first offense, your license will automatically be suspended for 6 months. For additional offenses, there is unlimited suspension time.
How to Beat a Drunk Driving Charge
Drunk driving laws are pretty clear and simple in Clemson, SC. If you are above the legal limit, you will be charged with drunk driving. You will be charged with driving under the influence if an officer believes you are under the influence of drugs. If you don’t blow above the legal limit but the officer still feels you are impaired, you may be charged.
A lot of college students in Clemson, SC engage in underage drinking. This is a known fact. Since the legal limit for drivers under 21 is only .02, it isn’t hard to qualify as drunk under the law. For a teenage girl, of normal weight, it only takes a drink or two to put her over .02. For a guy, it doesn’t take much more than that.
The good news is that DUI is the only criminal offense in South Carolina that has a technical defense. It is this technical defense that helps defendants beat a drunk driving charge. If a field officer doesn’t conduct the field sobriety test properly, the authorities will dismiss your case.
How a Clemson DUI Lawyer Can Challenge the Field Sobriety Test
Your best chance of beating a drunk driving charge is by challenging the field sobriety test. A large part of a drunk driving case turns on the police officer’s interpretation of the events. His opinion carries a lot of weight in determining whether you’re charged with drunk driving. This isn’t something you can challenge at the time of your arrest. You need to challenge this separately in court.
A Clemson, SC DUI lawyer knows how to challenge a field sobriety test. He will look at the officer’s notes to see what happened and will ask for a copy of the video of your field sobriety test. He will listen to the questions asked and your responses and will check to see if the officer executed the test properly.
Your lawyer will also look to see how the officer administered the chemical test. He will listen to see if the appropriate language was used. He will check to see what your responses were. This is another technical defense you can raise to a DUI charge.
Contact a Clemson DUI Attorney
If you or your teen has been charged with DUI, you need a good DUI attorney. You don’t want your kid’s record permanently tarnished with a DUI conviction. The amount of money it will cost him in fines is enormous. It is not the start to the college year that you hoped for.
Don’t try to handle the matter yourself. The prosecutor will not offer to dismiss the charges. It takes an experienced lawyer to fight a DUI charge in South Carolina. Contact a Clemson DUI lawyer today. The initial consultation is free. You want the very best to protect your college student’s future.