A person should be cautious any time they consume one or more alcoholic beverages. Going out with friends, to a dinner party, sports game or another event can be a recipe for disaster if a person consumes alcohol without considering how they will get home. When people do not enlist a sober driver, they may put themselves and others at risk.
After having a couple of drinks, a person may be knowingly or unknowingly impaired. No matter the circumstance, if a driver gets behind the wheel with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, and they are pulled over, they can be charged with a DUI.
What driving behaviors indicate impairment?
When a person is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may have a hard time properly operating their vehicle. Their lack of cognitive function and slowed reaction time make them dangerous to other drivers on the road.
In many circumstances, those driving under the influence are not difficult to spot. These 5 signs could indicate a driver may be impaired:
- Swerving: weaving outside of their lane, into another or off the side of the road
- Tailgating: following another vehicle too closely
- Abrupt stopping: quickly slamming their breaks for a red light, stop sign, to make a turn or for no reason at all
- Rapid acceleration or deceleration: random changes in speed without cause
- Erratic behavior: driving on the wrong side of the road, in the middle of the road or not using headlights after dark.
Law enforcement will immediately stop a vehicle if they believe the driver may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
What happens next?
In South Carolina, all drivers are subject to breath, blood or urine testing if they are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Law enforcement can bring a driver into the police station for a blood or urine test if they refuse an onsite field or breathalyzer test. Drivers that refuse DUI testing are subject to an automatic six-month driver’s license suspension.
If the driver’s BAC is above the legal limit, they will be charged with a DUI. It can be a stressful situation to find yourself in, but seeking help from an experienced DUI Defense attorney can help the process go more smoothly. They can advocate on a client’s behalf with the goal of getting back on the road sooner.
Just remember that it’s easier to prevent a DUI charge than to fight one. When going to an event at which alcohol is served, make sure you have someone who hasn’t been drinking that can drive you home, or make use of rideshare apps to keep yourself and others on the road safe.