This weekend marks the start of what is known as the 100 Deadly Days of Summer – the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day when traffic collisions and deaths traditionally spike in South Carolina.
For most of us, the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend will involve celebrations with friends and family, cookouts, and time on the water. However, be aware that it will also involve an increase in law enforcement presence including DUI check points and DNR patrolling which may result in DUI or Boating Under the Influence (BUI) charges.
South Carolina ranks in the top (or bottom) third among states in deaths from driving under the influence – with 6.59 deaths per 100,000 residents according to 2016 statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Other key points from the study:
- Drunk driving fatalities in South Carolina, despite having less than half the population of North Carolina, are almost on par with North Carolina.
- Approximately one-third of all traffic fatalities involved a drunk driver.
- About 12 in 100,000 people died in a motor vehicle traffic accident last year, and more than a quarter of those fatalities involved at least one driver under the influence.
At Truslow & Truslow, we want you to have a safe, fun weekend where the only concern is overcooking burgers or putting on enough sunscreen. We’d like to offer some tips to avoid a DUI or BUI:
- Have a designated driver, whether you’re in a car or boat. Consider Uber, Lyft, or any other reliable form of public transportation.
- Host your own party. No need to drive when the festivities are in your own back yard!
- Don’t text while driving/boating.
If you do find yourself at a police or DNR checkpoint, or have any other occasion to come into contact with law enforcement officers over the holiday weekend, here are some important things to know:
- You can politely decline to answer any questions that the officer asks.
- You can politely decline to take part in any Field Sobriety Test (FST).
- You will almost certainly be recorded, both on audio and video, starting at the moment you are stopped by law enforcement. You should behave as if your grandmother was sitting next to you in church! You should always be polite and respectful to the officer. And if you are placed in a patrol vehicle for transport to a detention center, you will most likely be on video there as well.
- If you are arrested for suspicion of DUI and/or taken to jail, you will be offered a breath test. Although you will almost certainly lose your license for a period of time if you refuse the breath test, you do not have to take the breath test. Refusing the breath test is almost always the best decision.
DUI or BUI convictions can have both immediate and long lasting consequences. You should always contact a criminal defense lawyer if you find yourself arrested for any criminal offense. If you are arrested, you have the right to an attorney.
At Truslow & Truslow, we have the experience and knowledge to defend our clients charged with DUI and BUI. If you are charged with an alcohol-related offense, contact us at (803) 256-6276 to begin working on your defense.