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South Carolina DUI drivers still on the road

South Carolina's drunk driving laws impair DUI convictions, according to the Horry County assistant solicitor. Specifically, inconsistent court rulings and an absence of precedential judicial opinions have hampered application of the state's new and complex DUI laws.

Police must follow stringent guidelines when making an arrest. Failure to follow these standards can lead to the dismissal of a DUI case even when the motorist is obviously intoxicated. A DUI suspect may be back on the road without any charges and still constitute a danger to other motorists and passengers. Repeat offenders may have many incidents that are not on their record.

A Myrtle Beach DUI defense attorney, however, claims that there were many drunk driving arrests in the state for motorists that were not impaired or even drinking. Although many lives have been saved by removing impaired drivers, according to this attorney, there have been false convictions. He said that sobriety tests utilized by law enforcement to detect drunk drivers are made to fail by their design and that invalid DUI offenses may actually be on drivers' records. Myrtle Beach Police claim that law enforcement in South Carolina utilize a standardize test.

Real consequences impact South Carolina motorists for legal loopholes and enforcement lapses regardless of the information on a driver's record. South Carolina suffered 309 alcohol-impaired fatalities in 2011 and 358 of these deaths in 2012, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

One example of these consequences involved a motorist who was seriously injured by a drunk driver while driving home from work in Dec. 2012. He was struck head-on by a drunk motorist who was driving on the wrong side of the road. The crash victim was hospitalized for two weeks and faces more surgery for shattered bones in his left arm and the decapitation of his knee cap which almost led to the loss of his leg. The drunk driver had no previous convictions.

A motorist, passenger or pedestrian injured in a drunk driving accident should seek advice to protect their right to compensation for injuries and losses caused by a drunk driver and the establishment that has Dram shop liability by serving an intoxicated driver. Families of a relative that was killed in a drunk-driving accident may also file a wrongful death action.

Source: WBTW, "Special report: DUI's and still driving," AJ Janavel, Nov. 22, 2013

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