A New Year, a New Chance to Avoid Drinking & Driving

Posted by & filed under Auto Accidents, Personal Injury.

As we start a new year, it is important to keep in mind how many people are driving while under the influence of alcohol, and what this could mean in terms of safety, accidents, injuries, and deaths. Many people might think that they can handle one or two drinks and still get behind the wheel, but the reality is that not only are you placing other people’s lives in danger, but your blood alcohol level could very well land you with a DUI in the state of South Carolina, where the standards are strict.

South Carolina Law

In South Carolina, you will get a DUI if your blood alcohol content is the following (depending upon how old you are and whether you are a commercial driver):

  • Younger than 21 years old: 0.02 percent
  • 21 years old (or older): 0.08 percent
  • A commercial driver (i.e. you hold a CDL license): 0.04 percent

How does one measure blood alcohol content? According to statistics, having only two drinks is enough to bring one’s blood alcohol content up to the illegal threshold of .08 (depending upon body weight) and significantly affect driving skills.

In addition, your driver’s license will be suspended for the following periods (depending upon how many DUI offenses there have been and your blood alcohol level):

  • 1st offense (if blood alcohol level is under 0.14 percent): 6 months
  • 1st offense (if blood alcohol level is 0.15 percent or over): indefinite
  • 2nd offense: indefinite
  • 3rd offense: indefinite

If you refuse to take a chemical test to measure your blood alcohol level, you will face the same driver’s license suspension terms (however, in each scenario, you can request an administrative hearing within 30 days of receiving the notice to suspend).

Just Don’t Do It

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2010 alone, approximately 33,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, most of those with blood alcohol levels of .08 or higher. The rest were occupants in the vehicle or non-occupants, such as pedestrians and bicyclists. Many of these accidents occur on New Year’s Eve in particular, when more people are drinking and driving.

Those who are not killed in these accidents tend to suffer from severe injuries; specifically close to four million were injured as a result of alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2010. The impact on the lives of those who have suffered from serious injury is typically lifelong impairment, physical pain, and the inability to perform the most basic living functions.

A North Charleston Car Accident Lawyer Who Can Help

If you have been in an accident as a result of a drunk driver, contact the accident attorneys at Callihan & Syracuse today. With our focus on auto, trucking, and motorcycle accidents, we are well versed in how to ensure that you receive the compensation that you need in order to ensure you are protected and justice is served.