Maybe you messed up badly, or maybe the officer messed up and made a wrongful arrest. Either way, you know what the consequences may be if you do not find a way to get out of this:
- Loss of your license;
- A permanent criminal conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) that cannot be expunged;
- Loss of your job or limitations on the types of jobs you can get in the future;
- Fines; and
- Possibly jail time.
So how can I beat a DUI in SC?
It’s not “legal loopholes,” or sneaky defense lawyer tricks – you can get out of a DUI in SC if you have a valid defense to DUI. Some defenses may be “technical,” based on requirements that police officers must follow during any DUI arrest, while others are based on “actual innocence.”
Below, I’ll discuss some of the ways to get out of a DUI in SC, DUI defenses, and how not to get out of a DUI in SC…
How Can I Beat a DUI in SC?
There are many possible defenses to DUI in SC – which ones apply will depend on the facts of your case – what the officer did during the arrest, whether you were actually over the limit, whether you took the breathalyzer, and whether the results will be admissible at your trial.
There are No “Legal Loopholes”
Prosecutors and victim’s advocates often talk about the terrible “DUI loopholes” in SC’s DUI laws.
They complain about “loopholes” when they lose cases, but the truth is what they are talking about are your rights under SC law and the SC and US Constitutions – not loopholes.
Your DUI defense lawyer’s job is to win your case whenever possible or to minimize the damage when you are likely to be convicted. A large part of winning your case is ensuring that your constitutional and statutory rights are protected.
If police violated your rights or did not follow the proper procedures, and the legal remedy is dismissal of your case, that’s not a loophole. It’s a cop violating your rights.
Then, How Can I Beat a DUI in SC? DUI Defenses…
No matter how bad it seems at first, you may have valid defenses to your DUI charges.
Whether you were falling down drunk or stone cold sober, the officer that arrested you was required to follow a simple procedure that is outlined in SC’s DUI laws. If they do not comply with the mandatory requirements of SC DUI law, the remedy may be dismissal of your case.
Did the officer:
- Begin recording no later than the activation of the blue lights?
- Record the complete field sobriety tests, including the walk and turn, one-legged stand, and horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) tests?
- Read your Miranda rights to you on the camera?
- Record the entire breath-testing procedure, including any refusal?
In other cases, an officer’s failure to comply with SC law, regulations, or SLED policy that is not mandatory may still result in suppression of any breath or blood test results.
If the state’s best evidence is a breathalyzer result of .21, but the jury will never hear the result, your case is more likely to get dismissed or reduced to another traffic offense before trial…
Other ways to beat a DUI in SC include:
- You weren’t drunk (seems obvious, but…);
- You weren’t driving;
- There was no probable cause for the initial traffic stop; or
- There was no probable cause for the DUI arrest.
Your DUI defense lawyer must do their own investigation and not just rely on the evidence provided by the officer or prosecutor – at Coastal Law, your Myrtle Beach DUI defense attorney will:
- Talk to all potential witnesses, including sobriety witnesses who can testify as to how much you had to drink and their observations of you just before or while driving;
- Get all video evidence from the prosecution including the roadside video and the video from the Datamaster (breathalyzer) room;
- Access SLED’s database to analyze the records of the machine that you were tested on – did it have maintenance done recently, was the simulator solution within the acceptable date range and temperature, and is there any other information that raises questions about test’s validity; and
- Prepare your case for trial before advising you about potential plea offers.
How Not to Beat a DUI in SC
Just for fun, here are some tried and tested methods that will not get you out of a DUI in SC:
When officers detected the smell of alcohol coming from the car, Garrett claimed he wasn’t driving the car, his dog was.
However, the excuse didn’t fool anyone as his “red, very glassy, and blood shot eyes” and the bottle of alcohol in the passenger’s seat pretty [much] gave him away.
Oh, and there was no actual dog in the car.
I only drank when the car was stopped (drinking while stopped, not drinking while driving):
When a sheriff’s deputy contacted Stevens, he reeked of alcohol, was slurring his words, and had “red and glossy” eyes. On the Mercury’s passenger seat was a bottle of Jim Beam, from which Stevens admitted he had been drinking.
Asked if he was drinking in the auto, Stevens replied, “No.” He then explained he was enjoying the bourbon at “Stop signs.” The deputy further noted Stevens’s distinction when it came to drinking while driving: “He further explained that he was not drinking while the car was moving and only when he stopped for stop signs and traffic signals.”
Trying to switch seats (with witnesses watching you). Oh, and lighting your cigarette on the burning car after you crash it…
The collision occurred around 2 p.m. on Sunday west of Antelope Road near Citrus Heights, the CHP said. According to a log published on the incident information page at 2:19 p.m., a witness reported that a shirtless male attempted to light a cigarette with his incinerated car. At 2:26, a log reported that the man tried to run into the fire.
A witness reported to the CHP seeing the male driver and female passenger attempt to switch seats before officers arrived. The man ultimately admitted to being the driver, the CHP said, and was arrested for driving under the influence.
SC DUI Defense Lawyers in Myrtle Beach
When you ask, “How can I beat a DUI in SC,” your Myrtle Beach DUI lawyer at Coastal Law will help you to understand what your potential defenses will be once we have obtained all evidence from the prosecutor and conducted an independent investigation of your case.
Call Coastal Law now at (843) 488-5000 or send us an email message to speak with a SC DUI lawyer today.