Aaron & Aaron
free initial consultations
local 864-551-4370
toll free 888-805-5086

New law increases penalties for first-time offenders

A new South Carolina law called Emma's Law requires even first-time DUI offenders to install an ignition interlock device in their cars. The law was named after a girl who was killed in a drunk driving accident while going to church with her family in 2012. Emma's Law says that a first-time offender with a blood alcohol content of more than .15 percent must use such a device for six months. If a driver is convicted for a second time, the device must be used for two years.

Drivers will not be able to get their licenses back until they complete the Ignition Interlock Program. The ignition interlock device prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has a blood alcohol content of more than .02 percent. Those who have an interlock device must pay $130 a month out of their own pocket. Reports say that 750 drivers in the state have such a device in their vehicles.

South Carolina man crashes into gas station

Law enforcement officials from the Rock Hill Police Department reported that a 32-year-old Chester man crashed his car into a gas station on Oct. 5. According to police, the collision happened around 9:25 a.m. When officials arrived, they could reportedly smell alcohol on the man who was said to be fading in and out of consciousness.

The accident occurred at the Exxon gas station located at the corner of Cherry Road and Oakland Avenue. The man, who had been driving a Ford Explorer, allegedly crashed into the building and subsequently caused an estimated $20,000 in property damage.

How does a BAC test work?

In South Carolina, drivers give implied consent to submit to breath tests when asked to do so. The state allows an investigating officer or an officer who may take a driver into custody to conduct such testing. However, this is only the case when the test is being videotaped. Although tests are to be done as soon as practicable, there is no statute of limitations on when a test may be conducted.

Before beginning a test, an officer will inform the driver of his or her obligation under the law and turn on a video camera. The officer will then check the driver's mouth for any dental work or other foreign objects. After this is done, the testing period will begin. If the testing period begins prior to checking the driver's mouth, a new test may need to be started.

Boating while impaired

Boating in South Carolina is governed by local ordinances as well as state law. The regulations concerning the operation of watercraft are in many ways similar to those concerning the operation of a car, as exemplified by the laws against boating while intoxicated. Law enforcement officials may pull over a boat if they suspect its operator is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

For, it is a criminal violation in South Carolina for people to operate a boat when their faculties are 'appreciably" and 'materially" impaired by drugs or alcohol. If there are neither injuries nor other aggravating circumstances related to the BWI charge, it is classified as a misdemeanor. Upon conviction, the operator may be required to pay fines, serve jail time or perform community service. Multiple convictions lead to greater punishments, according to the law. For instance, a third misdemeanor BWI conviction carries a minimum fine of $3,500 and at least 60 days in jail.

Refusing a breath test in South Carolina

Routine traffic stops can be troubling experiences for some drivers, particularly if they are nervous about failing a breath alcohol test. In South Carolina, a driver is considered too intoxicated to drive when their blood alcohol content is greater than .08 percent. Drivers have the right to refuse to take a breath alcohol test if a police officer asks to perform one; however, there are consequences to refusing a test.

According to South Carolina drunk driving laws, the state assumes that all licensed drivers consent to drug and alcohol testing, including breath tests, if an officer detains them on suspicion of DUI. The law requires that a license suspension of at least six months follow a refusal to take a test. The driver's refusal to take the test can be submitted as evidence of the driver's intoxication in court. When a driver refuses to submit to a test, an officer may choose to pursue a blood test. However, police must obtain a warrant before a blood sample can be taken.

Man facing DUI charges for fatal 5-vehicle crash

A man was accused of drunk driving and causing a fatal crash involving five cars on Sept. 6 in South Carolina. The incident happened around 7:45 p.m. at Sheep Farm Road and Wells Highway in Seneca. Police allege that a 52-year-old man drove through a red light before broadsiding one car and then hitting three other vehicles.

A man in the first vehicle that was struck died at the crash scene. A woman in that same vehicle was transported to Oconee Medical Center where she later died due to neck trauma. Five other people were also injured in the wreck. Officers charged the 52-year-old man with two felony counts of driving under the influence resulting in death.

Accident kills 1, injures 1, possibly caused by drunk driving

The South Carolina Highway Patrol charged a woman with two counts of felony DUI after a crash in Clarendon County on Aug. 30. The accident on SC 261 killed a 34-year-old man from Manning who suffered chest and neck injuries due to the wreck.

A 45-year-old woman, also from Manning, traveled east on the highway when her vehicle hit the rear of a vehicle headed the same direction, and the other vehicle hit a tree after going off the road. The driver of the other vehicle died, and his passenger went to a hospital after suffering serious injuries.

Deputy injured in South Carolina DUI accident

A deputy from Spartanburg County was injured in an Aug. 30 head-on car accident. The early morning crash occurred on Highway 221 when a 23-year-old Spartanburg man collided with the deputy's vehicle. The deputy reportedly suffered whiplash and a slight concussion as well as road rash due to the air bags in his vehicle. Reports do not mention where the man was evaluated for his injuries, but he is said to be recovering at his home.

The other driver is facing first-offense drunk driving charges. He was also charged with a tire violation and with violating a county ordinance. Reports do not indicate what the man's blood alcohol content level may have been nor what method was used to determine his level of impairment. The man was released on personal recognizance.

South Carolina police launch campaign to deter drunk drivers

According to reports, police in South Carolina have launched a campaign on Aug. 22 entitled Sober or Slammer, and it is expected to run through until Sept. 1. The campaign's goal is to raise awareness about the consequences of DUI in South Carolina in addition to trying to prevent impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol estimates that one person is killed each day on average by a drunk driver. During the first few days of the campaign, reports say that law enforcement in Horry County had detained approximately 46 individuals for DUI.

Man charged with felony DUI after fatal accident

A fatal crash in South Carolina resulted in a 20-year-old man being charged with felony DUI and minor in possession of alcohol. The two-car accident took place on Johns Island around 12:30 p.m. on Aug. 16 and resulted in the death of the other driver. The accused driver was reportedly still recovering from his injuries at the Medical University of South Carolina when he posted $100,475 bail three days after the incident.

The alleged DUI incident happened when the accused man was driving an SUV and collided head-on with another SUV being driven by a 17-year-old female. The teen was pronounced dead at the scene. A police incident report stated that before the crash, the accused driver had been witnessed passing other vehicles at excessive speeds. After drifting off the right side of the road, the driver apparently overcorrected and crossed the centerline.

Aaron & Aaron
422 College Avenue
Suite 300
Clemson, SC 29631

Phone: 864-551-4370
Toll Free: 888-805-5086
Fax: 864-551-4370
Clemson Law Office Map

Seneca office
Aaron & Aaron
1606 Blue Ridge Boulevard
Seneca, SC 29672

Fax: 864-882-5241
Seneca Law Office Map

Easley office
Aaron & Aaron
708 West Main Street
Easley, SC 29640

Fax: 864-859-9916
Easley Law Office Map