The holidays are a time to celebrate, but a DUI can have long-term consequences.
If you plan to partake in holiday festivities that involve alcohol this winter, it's important to do so responsibly and be mindful of South Carolina's DUI laws.
DUI defense attorney Matt Bodman has put together a list of 5 tips to help you avoid getting a DUI charge in South Carolina this holiday season. By following these tips, you can ensure your holiday season is merry and bright and hopefully not marred by a DUI arrest. However, if you are charged with a DUI this holiday season, it's important to understand your legal rights and options. To learn how Matt Bodman, P.A., can help, contact us today for a free consultation.
1) Understand the Law
As the holiday season approaches, it's important to understand the penalties for drunk driving charges in South Carolina. If convicted of DUI in South Carolina, you can face serious legal consequences, including potential jail time, fines and fees, community service, license suspension, and having to pay for installing an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. In addition, these penalties can increase if you have prior offenses, a high blood alcohol level, or were driving with a minor in the car. In short, you need to realize that driving drunk is a serious offense and avoid doing it at all costs.
2) Don't Drink & Don't Get Behind the Wheel If You've Been Drinking
It should go without saying, but getting behind the wheel is never a good idea if you've been drinking alcohol. Drunk driving is one of the most dangerous and reckless things someone can do, as drunk drivers not only endanger themselves and their passengers but also every other driver on the road. With the holiday season upon us, it's important to remember that increased police presence on the roads could mean an increase in DUI arrests. Of course, the surefire way to avoid a DUI charge during the holidays is to stay sober and not drink at all.
3) Use a Designated Driver
If your holiday plans involve alcohol, using a designated driver is one of the most effective ways to avoid driving under the influence. Here are some tips to keep in mind when using a designated driver:
- Plan ahead and make sure you have a designated driver before you go out drinking, not while you're at the event. Always designate someone you trust to remain sober throughout the night.
- Again, make sure your designated driver knows not to drink any alcohol. To help matters, you or someone in your group can volunteer as the designated driver for the next gathering.
- Have a backup plan in case your designated driver cannot stay sober or go out with you (see tip 4).
- Let your designated driver know ahead of time that you will be counting on them for a safe ride home, so they take this responsibility seriously.
4) Take a Taxi, Uber, or Lyft
An easy way to avoid a DUI in South Carolina this holiday season is to take a taxi or use ridesharing services such as Uber or Lyft. Using a ridesharing service eliminates the need for a designated driver and allows you to have a fun and safe evening without worrying about driving home after drinking alcohol. If a taxi or rideshare service isn't an option, then again, make sure you have a sober friend or family member to give you a ride home. That way, you won't be putting yourself or others in danger.
5) Talk to a DUI Defense Attorney if You've Been Charged
If you've been charged with drunk driving in South Carolina during the holidays, it's important to know that a DUI defense lawyer can help by:
- Offering legal advice on your specific case – A DUI defense attorney can review the details of your case and give you informed advice on the best course of action to take.
- Representing you in court – A defense lawyer knows the judges and the courts in your area and can put that knowledge to work for you while fighting for your rights.
- Helping negotiate plea deals – Your attorney may be able to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution to reduce or eliminate your DUI charge.
- Challenging evidence – A good DUI defense attorney can use their legal experience and knowledge to challenge any evidence presented against you, including BAC tests, which are often unreliable.
- Explaining the consequences – Your lawyer can explain the potential consequences of a DUI conviction so that you can make an informed decision about your options.
It's important to remember that a DUI conviction can have long-term impacts on your future. You may face jail time, fines, license suspension, and other repercussions that could affect your life for years to come. That's why it's important to seek the help of an experienced DUI defense attorney if you are facing DUI charges.
Attorney Matt Bodman, a former prosecutor, knows how the other side operates and the tactics prosecutors frequently use against people charged with DUI. He also knows how to counter those tactics and work toward the best possible outcome for his clients.
If you have been arrested in South Carolina, you must act quickly to protect your freedom. Contact us today for a free consultation. We're located in Columbia, South Carolina, and proudly serve clients in communities throughout the state.