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South Carolina DUI laws among most permissive

Even though hundreds of people die in alcohol-related crashes in South Carolina each year, new laws are making it more difficult to actually prosecute those accused of DUI. Drivers who are accused of drunk driving are often treated inconsistently, and they may not even be convicted at all, despite evidence against them. Legislators and legal experts throughout the state say that so many new laws have recently been added that few legal precedents exist for guidance.

South Carolina has some of the most complicated DUI statutes, requiring police officers to follow specific rules when they are arresting a defendant. In many cases, DUI defendants are able to avoid criminal convictions simply because a police officer makes a mistake. This is a good reason for DUI defendants to retain the services of a qualified criminal defense attorney; those professionals can help the defendant identify potential missteps that could invalidate their criminal cases.

Law enforcement officials throughout the state say that they are seeing a large number of DUI drivers not only receiving reduced sentences, but also having their entire cases dismissed. Defense attorneys say this is for good reason; many drivers who are arrested for DUI have not even been drinking, and they are certainly not impaired. Drivers who fail sobriety tests are often unfairly charged, even though those tests are set up to encourage failure. Even though those tests are administered frequently throughout the state, many attorneys do not view the evaluations as fair or even reliable.

Ultimately, the state of South Carolina provides some of the most significant driver protections for those accused of drunk driving. Those who may have even been accused of DUI on multiple occasions sometimes benefit from legal restrictions designed to give drivers extra benefits. Qualified criminal defense attorneys can help DUI defendants learn more about their individual rights and responsibilities in the courtroom.

Source:  www.wbtw.com, "Special report: DUI's and still driving" AJ JAnavel, Nov. 22, 2013

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