If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, you need to contact an experienced trial attorney to defend the case. Driving under the influence (DUI) has specific elements that must be proven by a law enforcement officer at trial. Even though you may think that you are guilty of driving under the influence (DUI), there may be valid defenses that an experienced Columbia, SC, DUI trial attorney can use for your benefit.
If no injuries are involved, a law enforcement officer will normally ask that a suspect perform field sobriety tests. There are three standardized tests approved by NHTSA. They are the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk and turn test, and the one leg stand test. Each of these tests needs to be performed in a specific manner for it to be valid. If the proper procedure is not followed, an experienced driving under the influence (DUI) attorney can attack the reliability of the test. In addition, no one has to submit to these field sobriety tests. You have an absolute right to refuse to perform these tests even though as a practical matter you may still be arrested. However, it most likely will later help you if the prosecution does not have any evidence from the field sobriety tests to use against you.
If no injuries are involved, you will likely be taken for a breath alcohol test. The datamaster is used in South Carolina to test a person’s blood alcohol level. The datamaster converts a breath sample into a blood alcohol level. There is a formula used called the partition ratio to make this conversion from a breath sample to a blood alcohol reading; as a result, the breath sample will never be as accurate as a blood alcohol sample. In addition, there are several settings used by the datamaster which will vary from individual to individual, increasing the chance of an inaccurate blood alcohol level. An experienced attorney can challenge the reliability and accuracy of the datamaster machine.
The penalties for conviction of a driving under the influence (DUI) first offense with a blood alcohol of less than .10 are 0-30 days in jail and a fine of $400 which ends up being $1,022 when the court costs are added. There is a six month driver’s license suspension if convicted, and a person must enroll and complete the ADSAP program. SR-22 insurance is mandatory for 3 years. The penalties increase for higher blood alcohol levels and second or more offenses
Contact David “Chip” Truitt if arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in the Columbia, SC, area for a free consultation. Mr. Truitt prosecuted criminal cases, including driving under the influence (DUI), for the Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s Office in Richland and Kershaw counties for five years. In addition, Mr. Truitt is the former prosecutor for the town of Chapin, prosecuting cases, including driving under the influence (DUI), for seven years. For the last 15 years, Mr. Truitt has been defending driving under the influence (DUI) cases. He understands what the government has to prove, which helps him challenge and attack the prosecution’s case. He will fully evaluate your case and thoroughly explain your options. Mr. Truitt will not hesitate to file the necessary motions regarding your case and take your case to trial if that is the best option for you. In addition, the prosecutors know that Mr. Truitt has won many driving under the influence (DUI) trials throughout his many years of practicing law, which means that you are likely to receive the best possible plea offer on your case.