When individuals face DUI charges, they are put at risk of several penalties. License revocation, a suspended license, fines and jail are all real possibilities. A drunk driving conviction, in short, can have drastic effects on one's life. A recent incident in Fort Mill, South Carolina, illustrates the life-altering effects of a DUI offense.
According to reports, a police officer who was once a finalist for officer of the year was pulled over after police caught him speeding and crossing the center line. According to police, when they approached the car they could smell alcohol coming from the vehicle. The accused individual allegedly failed several field sobriety tests and refused to take a breathalyzer test. The man was arrested, charged with DUI and subsequently fired from his job.
Since drunk driving convictions carry such serious penalties, it is important that those accused of such charges find the best criminal defense available. An experienced attorney will fight DUI charges by challenging the driver's blood-alcohol content and flaws in field sobriety test administration.
For example, a lawyer could question whether a driver was actually speeding or driving so errantly to warrant an initial stop by the police. If the stop was proper, then an attorney could argue that the field sobriety tests were rendered in a way that unfairly set the driver up to fail, thus making him appear more under the influence than he actually was at the time.
It is important to note, however, that South Carolina has an implied consent law, meaning that when drivers have obtained a driver's license, they have consented to breathalyzer tests. When asked by law enforcement, a driver can still refuse to take a breathalyzer, but the license will then automatically be suspended for six months.
Source: Gant Daily, "South Carolina cop arrested, fired after getting DUI," Nov. 20, 2012