Each case is different and an examination of the unique factors is critical to evaluating
any matter. The following information is not to be considered legal advice nor should
it be considered to give rise to an attorney/client relationship. The following
is for general information. In the event that you are charged with an alcohol related
infraction, please contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Under the law of South Carolina, there are many offenses related to
drinking and driving. These include many types of DUI prosecutions as well as DUAC.
Anyone with a South Carolina driver's license has under our law given
"implied consent" to a blood alcohol test if they are driving. This does
not mean that you are required to submit to a blood alcohol test, but it does mean
that you may have your driver's license suspended if you refuse to submit to a blood
If you are arrested for an alcohol related traffic offense, you will be asked to
submit to the blood alcohol test and if your license is suspended either due to your
refusal or due to the level of alcohol detected in your blood stream you will receive
a request for administrative hearing. You should always request the administrative
hearing. This will allow you to contest the administrative suspension as well as
apply for a Temporary Alcohol License.
In most jurisdictions, including Conway and Myrtle Beach, as soon as a police vehicle
activates its siren a camera will begin filming. In the event that you are stopped,
remember that your actions and words are likely on camera.
In the event of a traffic stop in which the driver is suspected of an alcohol
related offense, the officer will likely ask the driver to perform field sobriety
tests. The standard tests used by most officers are: Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus,
Walk and Turn and One Leg Stand. The HGN test consists of the officer asking the
driver to follow a light with their eyes while holding the head and body still.
In the event of an arrest, the driver will be placed under observation during the
time prior to the administering of the blood alcohol test. Again, during this time
the driver and officer will be on camera.
The appearance of a defendant on film is critical to any DUI case. In the
event that the case goes to trial, the video will normally be shown to the jury.
It is also important to remember that the police officer will be a part
of any plea negotiation and it is not helpful to be rude or insulting to the officer.
Although the fine associated with a conviction for DUI or DUAC is not usually steep.
There are many collateral consequences
which make these charges very serious matters. These consequences can include driver's
license suspensions, increases in auto
insurance rates and others which are outlined in the statutes.
Why hire an attorney or lawyer for a DUI arrest in Myrtle Beach, SC?
Usually after a DUI arrest, you will have to deal with an action in the Administrative
Law Court as well as a criminal charge. Both can have difficult consequences.
There are many strict procedures which must be followed by law enforcement in preparing
a DUI case. They make mistakes. Your lawyer knows what to look for.
The only reason a prosecuting attorney will dismiss or plead down a case in to avoid
potentially losing a trial. Hiring a lawyer gives you a much better opportunity.
A DUI conviction raises politically charges issues and can have social and professional
Enhancement. As difficult as a first DUI can be to handle, the consequences of additional
DUI charges can be devastating. These consequences can include jail time, increased
fines, installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle or immobilization
of your vehicles.
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) - In order to administer this test the officer will
hold an object in front of the suspect at eye level. The officer will then move
the object, while asking the suspect to follow the object with his eyes. The officer
will be looking for a lack of smooth pursuit in following the object.
3 examples of field sobriety tests used to arrest for DUI in the Myrtle Beach area:
Walk and Turn - In order to administer this test the officer will ask the suspect
to stand heal to toe, take nine heal to toe steps, turn and take nine more heal to
toe steps. This test actually begins when the officer begins giving the instructions.
The officer will be looking at the suspects ability to balance during the instruction
and the test as well as the ability to correctly follow the instructions.
One-Leg Stand - In order to administer this test the officer will ask the suspect
to stand straight with his arms at his sides. The suspect will be instructed to
raise one leg six inches off the ground and count out loud until told to stop. Again,
this test actually begins when the officer begins giving the instructions as the
officer will be looking for both balance and the ability to follow instructions.
204 Elm Street, Suite 201, PO Box 1851, Conway SC 29528 | (843).248.7009