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Before you drink and drive in South Carolina, assess your level of sobriety.

Date: November 23, 2015
Category: DUI Defense

To avoid ever needing the services of a South Carolina DUI attorney, you should determine and understand when you have consumed your limit in alcohol before you ever sit behind the steering wheel of a car. When most people are arrested and/or convicted of a DUI, they think that they are well below the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for legal driving in South Carolina.  By informing you of the self-check sobriety tips below, we hope to save not only your reputation and money, but possibly your life.

In general, if you know you are going to drink and that you also have to drive, you should hand your keys to a designated driver or a bartender.  However, if drinking is an unexpected event (such as in a professional setting), then it may be possible that the keys are in your pocket when it’s time for you to leave.  If you find yourself in this situation, you need to check yourself before you walk out the door.

Most people will tell you to know your blood alcohol content (BAC) in order to understand whether or not you have had too much to drink. However, at a bar, club, or social event, knowing the exact effect that an alcoholic beverage will have on you will vary depending on your weight and stomach content.  A few simple sobriety tests you can give yourself (or administer to a friend) include –

  • Does your breath smell of alcoholic beverage?
  • Is your speech slurred?
  • Are your eyes red or glassy?
  • Are your thoughts or actions slower than usual?
  • Are you extremely tired or lethargic?
  • Do you lack coordination or have you walked with a loss of balance?

Remember, you do not have to be falling over and stumbling to be arrested and/or convicted of a DUI. South Carolina law enforcement officers, along with police officers in most states, have the right to pull you over if there is probable cause to believe that you have violated the law, particularly motor vehicle and traffic safety laws.  Additionally, law enforcement officers occasionally set up drivers’ license and sobriety checkpoints. Once stopped, any sign of intoxication, even when unfounded, may lead to suspicion of driving under the influence.

The easiest way to avoid trouble is to refrain from driving when consuming alcohol, even if you are not legally impaired.  In the alternative, knowing your own condition is the surest way to avoid being stopped and/or arrested for DUI in South Carolina.