If a driver in South Carolina is pulled over under suspicion of DUI, the police may no longer administer a blood-alcohol test without permission or a warrant in most cases. This is due to a recent ruling from the Supreme Court where a man was given a blood test without his permission or a warrant, and two lower courts threw out the evidence because of it. The Supreme Court upheld the lower courts ruling stating that the dissipation of alcohol in someone's blood stream is not sufficient to override the requirement that police get a warrant before subjecting someone to a blood test. In the case in question, a man was pulled over after a police officer observed the man speeding and swerving. The man had two drunk driving convictions and failed several field sobriety tests. After he refused to take a breath test, the police officer took him to a hospital for a blood test but did not obtain a warrant to do so.
People may think that failing a blood test will automatically result in a conviction. However, that may not always be the case. As is true with all drunk driving cases, certain procedures must be followed in order for evidence to be used in court.
When it comes to drunk driving -- whether the person being charged is an adult who is legally old enough to drink or a minor under the age of 21 -- there are some cases where the solution in terms of sentencing really needs to be examined. For example, does it seem like the person being charged has a problem with alcohol? Would that person benefit more from some sort of rehabilitation? Is jail really the answer?
In South Carolina, even when a person is well under the legal driving limit, there have still been a number of cases where that person is arrested and charged with driving under the influence. To try and limit the number of people arrested and charged with drunk driving -- who are well under the legal limit -- a bill was pre-filed in the South Carolina House. This bill would make it so a person could not be charged with DUI if their blood alcohol content is below 0.05 percent.