Drunk Driving Lawyer Mount Pleasant, SC
One of the worst feelings a driver can have is when they see those flashing blue lights behind them and realize those lights are meant for them. Many South Carolina drivers are unsure what they should do if they are pulled over by police and the officer suspects they have been drinking and driving. Even if the driver has had no alcohol at all, the whole experience can be a stressful one. If you have been charged with DUI, you need a skilled drunk driving lawyer in Mount Pleasant, SC advocating for you.
Why Were You Stopped?
In order to pull a driver over on suspicion of DUI, police must have probable cause. They just cannot randomly stop drivers without a valid reason. Some of the commonly cited reasons include driving erratically, running a stop sign, expired vehicle registration, or committed some other traffic infraction.
Once they do stop a driver, the officer will try to find enough evidence to charge the driver with DUI. Again, the officer needs to have probable cause to arrest the driver, not just suspicion, that the driver has been drinking.
When police stop a driver because they suspect he or she is driving under the influence, they will try to find enough evidence to be able to charge the driver. Police need probable cause to make an arrest, however, that probable cause needs to be based on facts and not just on an officer’s suspicion. If the officer stops a driver because of the way they were driving, that fact can be used as part of the probable cause for a DUI charge.
Once the vehicle is stopped, the officer will approach the driver, looking for evidence of alcohol and/or drug use. Some evidence that can be used against the driver includes the smell of alcohol or drugs, beer or other alcohol containers, and prescription drug bottles.
The officer will also study the driver to see if he or she exhibits any signs of being under the influence, such as red eyes, slurred speech, or the smell of alcohol on the driver.
If police did not actually have probable cause to arrest a driver – or even stop their vehicle – a Mount Pleasant drunk driving lawyer can use that information to try to get the charges dismissed.
Field Sobriety Tests
Police will also attempt to determine if a driver is sober through different tests that are recognized by law enforcement across the country as standard sobriety tests. The officer may ask the driver to walk in a straight line, follow a moving finger or pen with their eyes, and stand on one leg. It is critical for every driver to know that they have the right to refuse to participate in these tests without suffering any consequences.
The next test the officer may request the driver take is a breath test that will measure their blood alcohol content (BAC). A driver can also refuse to take this test, too. However, in South Carolina, refusing to take this test is grounds for license suspension under the state’s implied consent law, even if it is proven later on in criminal court that the driver was not under the influence. Refusal of a BAC test is an automatic 90-day suspension (180 days if there is a prior alcohol-related conviction or suspension within the preceding ten years).
Contact Our Office Today
If you are facing drunk driving charges, make sure you have a dedicated Mount Pleasant drunk driving lawyer representing you. Contact Joe Good, Attorney at Law to schedule a free and confidential consultation.