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Mr. Chambers has been an attorney in the Myrtle Beach area since 1997. He worked as a prosecutor with the Horry County Solicitor's office for almost three years where he handled DUI, criminal domestic violence, and juvenile crime cases. In May of 1999, he opened Trenton H. Chambers, P.A. in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He was a prosecutor for the City of Myrtle Beach for five years where He prosecuted municipal court offenses such as traffic tickets, speeding tickets, DUI,
and Criminal Domestic violence charges. He can use his experience as a local prosecutor combined with his years of experience as an attorney in private practice to help you with any criminal charge, injury claim, or family court matter.
Call Myrtle Beach attorney Trent Chambers at the number below to schedule an appointment.

843-692-7953

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Criminal Law-

Trent Chambers

DUI in South Carolina: To Blow or Not to Blow?  That is the Question!

 

It’s almost spring, Mardis Gras is over and its almost time for St Patrick's Day. In my practice as a criminal defense attorney, I see an uptick in driving under the influence charges around both Mardis Gras and St. Patrick’s Day.   In honor of this unofficial "Irish” holiday please continue reading the next paragraph in your best Irish “accent”.

 

 March is never as warm as some would like it to be but on rare occasions, we get a grand day full of sunshine and warm temperatures. If we are lucky a day such as that will coincide with our St Patrick’s Day celebration.  Sometimes, it is bucketing down and/or quite cold. Either way the holiday will crack on.  Irish bars and restaurants will throw all day celebrations serving up Irish fair, plenty of black stuff (Guinness’), and Irish whiskey.  Many revelers will be on the tear and end up shattered and ossified.  Since the 17th falls midweek this year celebrations will take place on St. Patrick’s Day and the weekends surrounding the holiday.  Most celebrants that plan on getting locked will have a designated driver or take advantage of the many ride services that are readily available. Others will be chancers.

 

Unfortunately, there will be people that have been overserved on our roadways. There will also be plenty of law enforcement, and the possibility of safety check points or roadblocks.  As it is not illegal to have a drink and then drive in South Carolina some people may do just that, which may be perfectly legal. If you are faced with a situation where an officer believes that you may be driving under the influence it is good to know the law and the options that you have.

 

The Law:         It is unlawful is for a person to drive a motor vehicle within South Carolina while under the influence of alcohol to the extent that the person's faculties to drive a motor vehicle are materially and appreciably impaired, under the influence of any other drug or a combination of other drugs or substances that cause impairment to the extent that the person's faculties to drive a motor vehicle are materially and appreciably impaired, or under the combined influence of alcohol and any other drug or drugs or substances which cause impairment to the extent that the person's faculties to drive a motor vehicle are materially and appreciably impaired.  It is also illegal to drive in South Carolina with a blood alcohol content of more than .08% as a person could be charged with driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration.

 

Your Options:  What does all this mean for someone that gets pulled over and finds themselves being asked by law enforcement where they have been, if they have been drinking, to perform field sobriety test, and then asked to provide a breath sample or take a urine or blood test? 

 

The bottom line:

 

  • You do not have to talk to the officer or answer questions.

 

  • You do not have to take field sobriety test (unless charged with felony DUI).

 

  • You do not have to consent to a breath, urine, or blood sample. If you refuse, your privilege to drive in South Carolina will be suspended for 6 months; however, you can request a hearing and become eligible for a temporary alcohol license, if you request the hearing within 30 days of your suspension. If your blood alcohol content is over .15% your privilege to drive in South Carolina will be suspended for 30 days, but you can request a hearing and become eligible for a temporary alcohol license. If you do not request the hearing within 30 days or if you lose the hearing, your suspension will remain in effect until you complete an Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP) and you apply to reinstate your license.  Other conditions apply for those licensed outside the State of South Carolina. In a felony DUI situation, a person may be forced to provide a blood sample once a search warrant is issued;

 

The South Carolina DUI statutes are long and confusing.  If you have questions concerning a DUI or criminal charge in Horry or Georgetown, South Carolina give me a call for a free consultation.  Have a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 

Trent Chambers, Esquire

1600 North Oak Street, Suite D

Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

(843) 449-0420

The information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.