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Who is charged with DUI? Are they all guilty?

Who is charged with DUI? Are they all guilty?

There are two things that I can say with definite certainty about DUI defense law:

There is no “type” of person who is more or less likely to be charged with DUI.
Many people who are arrested are not guilty of DUI or any other crime.

DUI is sometimes referred to as a “good guy” crime. Many times those charged have no prior criminal record and excellent driving records. They are school teachers, barbers, executives, ministers, physicians, cashiers, and everything in-between.

Anyone and everyone could be a potential defendant. Over the last few years I have seen an uptick in the number of alcohol-free DUI cases. This means that people who hadn’t had a drink, maybe even in their entire life, are also now at risk of being arrested. This is usually a result of officers confusing medical condition or some other special circumstance with alcohol impairment.

The number of DUI arrest that police officers make is now a very important metric both the officer and the entire department. A few years ago it was made official that the Highway Patrol actually has a quota. Almost every agency is in competition with each other to increase the number of DUI arrests year over year to try to win fancy new police equipment (which can be elaborate as a “cool” looking HEAT police car).

Beyond the alcohol free DUI cases, there are also people arrested who have only had a small quantity of alcohol, and certainly not enough to impair their ability to drive. In South Carolina the rule is that it is not against the law to drink alcohol and drive. It is only against the law to drink to the point of impairment. Contact my firm if you have been arrested for DUI!


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